Nanaimo Bars: The Dessert I Will Never Make Again

Let me preface this by saying that I’m still working on losing baby weight from 8 week old Bella, 2 year old Nicholas, 4 year old Colby and you get the idea.  Next I want to say, “Shame on you Canada, for not sharing these with me sooner.”  or perhaps I should  say, “thank you”.

I found this recipe a few weeks ago and decided to make it for company we had over for Sunday lunch.

I had to feed these to the kids for Sunday dinner and both lunch and dinner on Monday otherwise I would have gained back at least 15 pounds of  ‘baby weight’.

Reason #4,522 for having a  large family: There’s always someone to eat the leftovers.

The bad part is that I’m still thinking about them…….

Without further ado, since I’m such a nice person (or is it bad person?) here is our recipe for Nanaimo Bars, a quintessential Canadian concoction.

Nanaimo Bars

Bottom layer:

Stir and melt in the top of a double boiler:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 Tblsp cocoa powder


  • 1 beaten egg

Continue to cook and stir to thicken for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in:

  • 1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup Heath bars, finely chopped

Press into an un-greased 8 x 8 dish.

Middle layer:

Cream together until light:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 Tblsp and 2 tsp half and half
  • 2 Tblsp vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Spread mixture over the bottom layer in the 8 x 8 dish.

Top layer:

Stir and melt in top of double boiler:

  • 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 Tblsp butter

Allow to cool, but while mixture is still soft spread over top of all.  Chill in refrigerator for several hours (or overnight) before serving.  Serves 24

Be sure to use all unsalted butter and have someplace to giveaway any leftovers that you don’t want to consume in an inordinately short amount of time.

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22 Responses to Nanaimo Bars: The Dessert I Will Never Make Again
  1. jerilyn
    October 20, 2010 | 7:30 am

    I’m just glad to know you’re still trying to lose baby weight… I knew I wasn’t the only one! 🙂


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    You are not the only one. 😉


  2. Nicki
    October 20, 2010 | 7:57 am

    That’s quite a list of ingredients.

    I have a t-shirt that says “Body by Baby” that I plan to wear after the baby comes. I call it the ‘excuse t-shirt.’ Everyone thinks it’s so cute now. Wait til January!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I definitely need one of those!!


  3. Cassie
    October 20, 2010 | 8:27 am

    First, let me say that I love, love, love your blog. It has been so helpful to me since I found it a few months ago. Today there was an ad at the top of your page for Jack*** in 3D. I realize you probably do not have control over the ads shown but maybe you could try? I often have my son in my lap (because I feel safe visiting the sites that I do!) and do not really want to expose him to this type of thing, as I know you do not! Anyway, I just wanted to voice my concerns! Thank you for allowing God to use you to inspire and encourage other Moms!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you for making me aware of this. It is not ok with me to have that ad up and I’ve taken steps to get it off. I completely understand and am so sorry!!! I would not want my children to see it.

    Thank you again for caring enough to let me know.


  4. Kozimom
    October 20, 2010 | 9:21 am

    Hmmm, these sound delicious, but actually real Canadian Nanaimo bars don’t have Heath bars in the bottom layer AND the absolutely vital ingredient is Bird’s Custard Powder – not vanilla pudding mix. Sorry! It’s not available in the US apparently. But then I don’t think Heath bars are available here in Canada – so we’re even!


  5. Alene
    October 20, 2010 | 9:46 am

    Nanaimo bars – doesn’t get yummier than that! For those who wonder, Nanaimo is a town on the coast of Vancouver Island, which is in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of British Columbia. Very pretty.

    Oh, and while REAL Nanaimo bars don’t include Heath bars in the crust, this Canadian wouldn’t fuss if you used them in the Nanaimo bars you served me!! 🙂


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    So when are you coming? 😉


  6. Cascia @ The Healthy Moms Magazine
    October 20, 2010 | 10:55 am

    That sounds like a delicious recipe!


  7. Dianne Andrews
    October 20, 2010 | 12:03 pm

    Yum. We used to eat those on the ferry to Victoria. Aaahhh, memories. 🙂

    And, everyone is correct, no Heath Bars. But, I’m not a big fan of coconut so I’m thinking keep the Heath, ditch the coconut…. Oh dear, starting to drool….


  8. Gillian
    October 20, 2010 | 12:46 pm

    I`m a Canadian living in the States and you just made me soooo homesick!! I miss Nanaimo bars, I`ll have to try your recipe.


  9. Sue
    October 20, 2010 | 12:49 pm

    A recipe for Nanaimo bars – How fun!!!

    A Canadian friend of mine just told me about these delectable bars just a few weeks ago and I was about ready to take a trip to Canada just to try one. You saved me a trip, thank you so much! 🙂

    Blessings to you,
    The Homeschool Chick


  10. Mary Frances
    October 20, 2010 | 1:45 pm

    Bird’s custard is sold at World Market.


  11. Jessica Hilliker
    October 20, 2010 | 9:46 pm

    You are so cute! 🙂 I am still working on the baby weight, too…and am glad for others around who enjoy eating as much as I do!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I’m loving that you just called me ‘cute’.


    Jessica Hilliker Reply:

    It was a complement for sure!!!


    Jessica Hilliker Reply:

    (compliment 🙂 )


  12. Steph
    October 21, 2010 | 5:34 am

    I love Nanaimo Bars! I will definitely try this recipe. Re baby weight, at least you’ve had a baby while I haven’t and I have a body that can pass as ‘Just had triplets’ 🙂

    Keep the yummy recipe coming!


  13. Lene
    October 21, 2010 | 4:09 pm

    I’m from Canada and never thought to introduce my husband to those wonderful things until this past summer :). I never thought about making them. He enjoyed the “new” experience!


  14. Heather
    October 21, 2010 | 4:28 pm

    Oh, you’ve made me nostalgic. These bars are part of my family’s recipe history! My grandma (raised in Canada) made them every Christmas as part of her famous dessert tray. A few years ago when I asked for the recipe I decided they should be called chocolate BUTTER bars! But boy are they a hit for special occasions with large amounts of people! I join you in the baby weight battle and in thinking about nanaimo bars!


  15. Courtney Orrange
    October 22, 2010 | 10:11 pm

    Have you ever tried butter tarts? The list of Canadian treats that you will love goes on and on….


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