Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo bars are one of Canada's contributions to baking.  There's some controversy about the origin and the original recipe.  Nonetheless, you can try this tasty version.  I flavored it with spearmint, but you could use any flavor you like or have plain filling.


  • Crust
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup coconut
    • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
    • 1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 12-13 full-size graham crackers)
  • Filling
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp heavy whipping cream
    • 2 tbsp vanilla instant pudding mix
    • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
    • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped spearmint leaves
    • Green food coloring, if desired
  • Topping
    • 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate
    • 3 tbsp butter


  1. Melt the butter, sugar, and cocoa powder in a saucepan over low heat.  Add the egg and stir to cook & thicken.
  2. Add the coconut, almonds, and cracker crumbs.  Mix well.  Press evenly into the bottom of a 9x9 inch pan.  (Silicone is helpful for later when you have to get it out)
  3. For the filling, place all ingredients in a bowl and cream together.  Spread evenly over the crust.
  4. For the topping, melt the chocolate & butter over low heat, being careful to not burn the chocolate.  Remove from heat and let stand until cooled to almost room temperature.  Spread evenly over the filling.
  5. Refrigerate the bars until everything is set.  Remove and cut into 1"-square pieces.