Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo BarsEveryone has special memories of treats from their childhood. A special ice cream flavor, the perfect chocolate chip cookies or a special birthday cake. These memories are shaped by parents, grandparents, friends, or even the local bakery down the street.

Today I would like to share one my favorite childhood treats! Growing up in Utah meant that we didn’t often see my dad’s parents who lived in Ontario, Canada. I’m pretty sure that my very plane ride was on trip to see these grandparents. I couldn’t have been very old, maybe 7 or 8.  I have very little memory of the trip, truth be told. I remember staying in a pink room with sister, my first trip on a sailboat, and playing with my cousins. I know there have been a few trips to see my grandparents over the years and they all have great memories.

And of course there is always the great food! One thing that always sticks out is Grandma Anderson’s Nanaimo bars. I did a little research on this treat since the name is so unusual. I found out that this is somewhat of a traditional Canadian treat originating from the town of Nanaimo, British Columbia.

This is probably one of the only no-bake treats you’ll ever see from me. I can’t explain it, but no-bake is just not my thing. I hope everyone gives this a try and enjoys this treat as much as I do 🙂



1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup cocoa

1 egg

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 cup shredded coconut


1/4 cup butter

2 tbsp instant vanilla pudding powder

3 tbsp milk

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp almond extract (there really is no “right” way to make a Nanaimo bar so feel free to play with flavors a little. We added the almond extract because we found some on sale 😉 it’s totally optional.)


4 squares semi-sweet chocolate. (This is equivalent to 4 oz)

1 tbsp butter


Base- In a medium mixing bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, nuts, and coconut.

In a double boiler melt the butter, then add sugar and mix until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cocoa and egg and mix until smooth and thickened. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix it all together.  Grease a 9×9 inch glass pan and press this mixture into the bottom.

Filling- In your stand mixer combine all ingredients until well mixed. Spread filling over the base. I used a spatula and a very light touch to help prevent the filling from pulling the base up.

Glaze- In a small saucepan over low heat melt the butter. Add chocolate and mix constantly until completely melted. Spread over the filling.

Refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours. This freezes really well so you can cut your squares and store them in tupperware in the freezer. Just like Grandma 🙂


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