The Original Nanaimo Bar

Nanaimo Bars are a traditional Canadian bar cookie whose origins are in Nanaimo, British Columbia.

The Original Nanaimo Bar


1/2 cup unsalted butter (Euro-style cultured)
1/4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg, beaten
1 3/4 cup graham wafer crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut

Melt first 3 ingredients in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 X 8 pan.


1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons and 2 tsp. cream
2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder (such as Birds -- see Note below)
2 cups icing sugar

Cream butter, cream, custard powder and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.


4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool When cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

Note: Birds custard powder is widely available in the UK and Canada and is available in the USA at Cost Plus World Market and online at and If you are unable to find it, try the Napoleon Creams recipe which uses vanilla pudding. It's not quite the same, but it is a good substitute.

Photo by crd! under Creative Commons license.

Country of Origin: Canada

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