Squares of nanaimo bars on a chopping board

Nanaimo bars

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(13 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 5 mins plus 2 hrs 20 mins chilling


Serves 16

Need ideas for a coffee morning or afternoon tea? These bars from Canada are so moreish, with a crunchy biscuit base, custard layer and chocolate topping

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal415
  • fat29g
  • saturates18g
  • carbs33g
  • sugars23g
  • fibreg
  • protein3g
  • salt0.6g
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    For the biscuit base

    • 125g softened butter



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 50g caster sugar
    • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
    • 1 egg, beaten



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • 200g digestive biscuits, blitzed to crumbs
    • 100g desiccated coconut



      A large hairy, brown nut that grows on the coconut tree, found throughout the world's…

    • 50g chopped almonds (optional)

    For the custard icing

    • 100g butter, softened



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 4 tbsp double cream
    • 3 tbsp custard powder
    • 250g icing sugar

    For the chocolate topping

    • 150g dark chocolate

      Chocolate ganache


      Chocolate ganache is a combination of chocolate and double cream. It's simple to…

    • 50g butter



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…


    1. Start by making the biscuit base. In a bowl, over a pan of simmering water, melt the butter with the sugar and cocoa powder, stirring occasionally until smooth. Whisk in the egg for 2 to 3 mins until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and mix in the biscuit crumbs, coconut and almonds if using, then press into the base of a lined 20cm square tin. Chill for 10 mins.

    2. For the middle layer, make the custard icing; whisk together the butter, cream and custard powder until light and fluffy, then gradually add the icing sugar until fully incorporated. Spread over the bottom layer and chill in the fridge for at least 10 mins until the custard is no longer soft.

    3. Melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave, then spread over the chilled bars and put back in the fridge. Leave until the chocolate has fully set (about 2 hrs). Take the mixture out of the tin and slice into squares to serve.

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    Comments, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    11th Jun, 2018
    Very good. It was not too sweet like the other comments are suggesting - perhaps it was too sweet because of the use of instant custard sachets rather than a tub of custard powder.
    Katy Neale's picture
    Katy Neale
    27th May, 2018
    These are excellent frozen, it cuts through the sweetness and they are a great snack when it is hot.
    11th Feb, 2018
    Very easy but far too sweet. The middle layer does taste like buttercream so I might try it with something similar to Creme patisserie If I make again.
    20th Sep, 2017
    These are nice but not like I had in Canada. I feel like the second layer tastes like butter icing, and not the custard texture and taste I experienced in Canada. Can anyone tell me why this is?
    14th Jan, 2018
    It might depend on what custard you use. In Canada everyone uses Bird's custard powder, so try that if you didn't already. There are many different recipes, so it might be difficult to re-create what you had in Canada. This is the "official" one, which is quite similar to the BBC version- https://www.nanaimo.ca/about-nanaimo/nanaimo-bars
    20th Aug, 2017
    These are very quick and easy to make … and so delicious.
    21st Aug, 2017
    Please can you post a custard icing recipe that doesn't use custard powder?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    22nd Aug, 2017
    Thanks for your suggestion. We'll see what we can do!
    18th Aug, 2017
    Just make the custard from scratch, much nicer and healthier. I seriously don't understand why this recipe instructs people to use the processed powder, educate people how to cook with real ingredients! :(
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