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Nanaimo Bar Recipe

The Nanaimo Bar, a Canadian classic, originating from Nanaimo, BC is a decadent multi layered treat. A soft layer of luscious yellow custard is sandwiched between rich chocolate ganache and a coconut- graham crust.

Loving to create, I transformed the bars into truffles then to a larger size, I call a ‘Bomb’.

The fun of making either ball version is getting your hands covered in chocolate. Call the kids as this is something they will not mind getting their hands dirty for. Just be forewarned as there might be a fight as to who gets to lick the bowl, especially when chocolate is involved. The secret ingredient to all recipes is love!

Indulgables Award Winning Recipe, winning Hamilton’s Best Nanaimo Bar Competition 2017, with a gluten free and dairy free version. I have included options for gluten free, dairy fee and plant-based version.

Nanaimo Bars/ Truffles/ Bombs


Bottom Layer

½ cup butter (or plant-based butter)

¼ cup cocoa powder

¼ cup sugar

1 eggs or egg substitute* (1 Tablespoon chia seeds in ¼ warm water mixed well and form a gel like consistency)

1 cup Graham cracker crumbs (gluten-free graham cracker crumbs)

1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

½ cup chopped walnuts

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

Middle Layer

½ cup butter (non-dairy butter)

2 cups icing sugar

2 Tbsp custard powder (contains not dairy or egg product)

3 Tbsp cream* or dairy free option coconut milk

1 tsp Vanilla

Top Layer

4 oz chocolate (I used 72% dark to cut the sweetness of the middle layer)

2 Tbsp butter (or plant-based butter)


For the ball form I suggest starting with the middle layer.

To make the middle layer blend butter and icing sugar until well mixed. Then add the custard powder and coconut milk* and vanilla. Mix until very smooth.

If making balls, refrigerate until firm. Then use either a melon baller or small ice cream scope and form into balls. Freeze for a minimum 30 minutes.

For traditional bars, set the custard middle portion aside.

Bottom layer, heat sugar, cocoa powder, and butter until all is melted and smooth. Slowly incorporate egg * Fold in remaining ingredients until all ingredients are completely incorporated.

For traditional bars press mixture into the prepared 8x8 pan. Add the middle layer and smooth until the base layer is covered, and the middle layer is even.

For rounds, once this mixture is cooled take about a teaspoon to tablespoon depending on the size of balls, press flat then roll around the middle layer until fully covered. Repeat for remaining. Freeze.

Top layer, slowly melt chocolate and stir in butter until smooth. For rounds, dip frozen rounds into chocolate and set on parchment paper. Refrigerate

For the bar version, pour chocolate mixture over the bottom and middle layer and smooth until even. Refrigerate at least an hour, if you can wait that long.

Flavour Options:

Maple Walnut

Add 2 tablespoons maple syrup to the middle custard section. Sprinkle top with chopped walnuts and maple syrup flakes


Add 1 tablespoon Irish whiskey to the middle custard section. If you want a stronger Bailey’s flavour add another tablespoon Irish whiskey and additional ¼c-1/2c icing sugar or until thick.


Add 2 tablespoon espresso coffee to the middle custard section.


Add 1 teaspoon to the bottom layerAdd 1 teaspoon ginger and 1 tablespoon molasses to the custard layer.

Chocolate Mint

Add ½ teaspoon peppermint extract, or 1 Tablespoon mint schnapps to the middle custard section.

Green colour can be added, optional.

Be creative as there are so many other possibilities.


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