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Chocolaty Nanaimo Bars

If a pastry could be a friend, the Nanaimo bar would be my BFF. This version won Cookie of the Fair at the 2006 Iowa State Fair. —Kelly McCulley, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Total Time
    Prep: 55 min. + chilling Cook: 10 min.
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons Bird's custard powder or instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half cream
  • 1 ounce white baking chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon shortening


  • Line bottom of a 9-in. square baking pan with parchment. In a small heavy saucepan, cook and stir butter, sugar and cocoa over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg; return all to pan, whisking constantly. Cook 2-3 minutes or until mixture is just thick enough to coat a metal spoon and a thermometer reads at least 160°, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in cracker crumbs, coconut and pecans. Press into prepared pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until cold.
  • For filling, in a large bowl, beat butter and custard powder until blended. Beat in confectioners' sugar and half-and-half until smooth. Spread over crust. Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour or until firm.
  • For topping, fill a small resealable bag with melted white chocolate; set aside, keeping warm. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over filling.
  • Cut a small corner in bag with white chocolate. Working quickly, pipe parallel lines over chocolate layer, spacing lines 1/4 to 1/2 in. apart. Working at right angles to the white chocolate lines, pull a toothpick back and forth across the pan, cutting through the piped lines to create a feather design.
  • Refrigerate 10 minutes or until topping is just set (do not allow the chocolate to harden completely). Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Editor's Notes: Bird's custard powder can be found in some Cost Plus World Market stores or at and To toast coconut and pecans, spread each in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
Nutrition Facts
1 bar: 343 calories, 22g fat (12g saturated fat), 45mg cholesterol, 168mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (29g sugars, 2g fiber), 2g protein.

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  • shereeder
    Aug 18, 2016

    I have made these for several years and use the vanilla pudding. They turn out great!! OMG! Everyone loves them.

  • vislandgirl54
    Dec 22, 2015

    I happen to live in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island and I'm always looking for new Nanaimo Bar recipe's, so I'll certainly give this a try. Thanks!

  • NH-rescue
    Nov 16, 2014

    These disappeared fast when I took a batch to a pot luck supper! I used the Bird's custard.

  • Abbey_Shelton
    Oct 17, 2014

    These are very good. I only rated a 4 star because there is a restaurant in town that I feel makes a better version, but these were delicious. I used the pudding mix.

  • dbishop17
    Aug 2, 2014

    Very tasty

  • gaschoenecker
    Jul 2, 2014


  • gaschoenecker
    Jul 2, 2014


  • Memaw2405
    Jul 1, 2014

    I haven't made these yet but I'm planning to. I just wanted to note that I was able to find Bird's Custard Powder at Woodman's grocery store so if you have one in your area you can get it there as well. I'll come back and re-rate after I make them.