Nanaimo Bars

A Canadian classic. You can buy custard powder in the baking section of the grocery store. I never have a use for it except to make Nanaimo Bars, so I use 2 tablespoons of instant vanilla pudding powder instead.

Nanaimo Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Chocolate and graham wafer crumb base, vanilla filling, topped with chocolate.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 16
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups graham wafer crumbs
  • 1 cup coconut
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
Vanilla Filling:
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons custard powder
  • 2 cups icing (confectioners') sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 squares semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Combine butter, sugar, cocoa and egg in a saucepan. Place over simmering water in a double boiler, or over low direct heat. Cook and stir until thick and smooth, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  3. Add graham wafer crumbs, coconut and nuts and stir to combine.
  4. Spread in a greased 9 inch square pan and pack down firmly.
Vanilla Filling:
  1. Cream butter. Combine milk and custard powder and blend until smooth. Stir into the butter.
  2. Add icing sugar and blend on low speed with mixer until smooth. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Spread filling over chocolate layer. Chill for 15 minutes.
  1. Melt chocolate and butter together. Spread over the filling. Refrigerate. Cut into bars.


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