Western Canada’s Legendary Nanaimo Bar

This creamy, chocolaty Canadian Christmas treat’s origin is elusive, shrouded in mystery, and claimed by many as their own. Of course, we know that Nanaimo Bars originated in Nanaimo, BC or they would be called New York Bars, or New Brunswick Bars. Feel free to check for yourself on the Nanaimo Bars’ Wikipedia page!

So, to celebrate and launch the holiday celebration season, we want to share one of our favourite Western Canada baking recipes courtesy of our Director of Business Events, Missy Preston.

Missy’s Nanaimo Bar Recipe

Bottom Layer

  • ½ cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
  • ½ c. finely chopped almonds or walnuts (or none at all if you have nut allergies in your family)
  • 1 cup coconut

Melt first 3 ingredients in the 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.

Second Layer (in my family we double this recipe)

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder (like Bird’s)
  • 2 cups icing sugar

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

Third Layer

  • 6 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter

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

Cut into squares (use a warm sharp knife and take your time so you don’t crack the chocolate) and ENJOY!