A buttery base and a creamy custard layer all topped with melted chocolate complete these copycat Nanaimo bars.
Perfect to make for potlucks, holiday parties, or any family gatherings, these copycat Nanaimo bars are super tempting and a great sweet treat to try your hands at.
These bars look so fancy and challenging to make, but once you try making them, you’ll be surprised at how ridiculously easy it is to put them together.
Ready to give them a shot? Here’s all you need to know about them before you do.
Ingredients For the Recipe
You’ll need three sets of ingredients for this recipe.
For the bars
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup baking cocoa
- ¾ cup butter cubed
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup chopped almonds
For the filling
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 2 tablespoon instant vanilla pudding mix
- ¼ cup butter melted
- 3 tablespoon 2% milk
For the glaze
- 3 oz semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 tablespoon butter
How to Make the Copycat Nanaimo Bars
Once you have all your ingredients ready to be used, here’s what you need to do.
In a big pot over medium heat, add the sugar, cocoa, and butter.
Mix until the butter is melted, add a small amount of the mixture in the eggs, mix a little, and pour the egg mixture into the pot.
Remove from heat and add the almonds, coconut, and cracker crumbs.
Mix with a spoon until everything is well combined and add the mixture in a cake pan lined with cling wrap.
Leave it in a fridge for around 30 minutes until it is all set and continue with the next layer.
For the second layer, you will need to mix the confectioners sugar, pudding mix, butter, and milk.
Add this over the first layer and put it back in the fridge.
To make the glaze, melt the butter and the chocolate and pour them over the white layer.
Put the pan back in the fridge until the chocolate is set.
Cut it into bars and serve.
These versatile copycat Nanaimo bars can be tweaked around a lot when it comes to the ingredients you add. While almonds are typically added to the bottom crust layer, you could opt for any other kind of nut that you prefer- walnuts, pistachios, or even pecans.
You could also use crushed salted peanuts- they taste amazing!
To bring in a bit of extra fanciness into the bars, you can sprinkle some espresso powder (or cocoa powder) on the top, right before you serve.
Another cool idea is to layer some mini marshmallows on the custard layer after you get it out of the refrigerator, and then pour the melted chocolate on the top. Now you’ve got yourself some smores Nanaimo bars!
The purpose behind using 2% milk to make these copycat Nanaimo bars is to lend the custard some extra creaminess and richness. You can, of course, use regular milk or even low-fat milk if that’s what you prefer- it won’t make any major difference to the layer, but you would really want to stick to a higher fat variety of milk to achieve that dreamy consistency and taste in your desserts.
You can! Confectioner’s sugar is usually just regular sugar covered with some starch, to help the sugar assimilate and combine with the mixture it is being added into more easily, which is why you’ll find it as an ingredient in many dessert recipes.
These dessert bars have a creamy custard filling, which is why refrigerating them is a must. Transfer the bars to an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 7 days.
Freezing these bars isn’t recommended, since the process of freezing and thawing can cause the custard and other layers to lose their texture.
Tips & Tricks to Nail the Recipe
Think you have the recipe all covered in your head? Wait up! You wouldn’t want to miss out on these little tips and tricks to make sure you nail the recipe.
- Always line your dish with parchment paper before you proceed with adding all the layers. This will make cleanup less messy, and it’ll also be easy for you to get the bars out from the dish.
- Use a clean, warm knife to cut each bar. Wipe it with a damp cloth before each cut to get those perfect, sharp edges that you are looking for. This might seem like a little extra work but it is totally worth it.
- Another quick trick to get the perfectly cut bars is to first allow the dish to come down to room temperature. Then, using a knife, make slices just on the top chocolate layer, not getting your knife all the way through into the bottom layers. Then, pop the dish in the refrigerator again to chill, and then when you get it out, you can use the slices on top as ‘guides’ for the softer, bottom two layers.
- Make sure you allow the custard layer to chill well in the refrigerator before you top it with the melted chocolate. If you’re running short of time, you can throw it into into freezer for a few minutes to chill quicker.
- Opt for dark chocolate to make the top layer of the Nanaimo bars. The bitterness from the dark chocolate can balance out the sweetness of the other layers nicely.
- Remember to turn the heat down before you add the eggs into the mixture. Also add the eggs slowly and gradually instead of all at once- or the eggs will start to curdle.
Loved trying your hands at this easy no-bake recipe? Looking for some more fun recipes to try out? Here are a few you might want to try out.
- ¼ cup (50g) sugar
- ¼ cup (25g) baking cocoa
- ¾ cup (185g) butter cubed
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups (200g) graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup (100g) sweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup (46g) chopped almonds
- 2 cups (240g) confectioners sugar
- 2 tablespoon (20g) instant vanilla pudding mix
- ¼ cup (57g) butter, melted
- 3 tablespoon (44g) 2% milk
- 6 tablespoon (85g) semi sweet chocolate
- 1 tablespoon (14g) butter
- In a big pot over medium heat, add the sugar, cocoa, and butter.
- Mix until the butter is melted, add a small amount of the mixture in the eggs, mix a little, then pour the egg mixture in the pot.
- Remove from heat and add the almonds, coconut, and cracker crumbs.
- Mix with a spoon until everything is well combined and add the mixture in a cake pan lined with cling wrap.
- Leave it in a fridge for around 30 minutes until it is all set and continue with the next layer.
- For the second layer, you will need to mix the confectioners sugar, pudding mix, butter, and milk.
- Add this over the first layer and put it back in the fridge.
- To make the glaze, melt the butter and the chocolate and pour them over the white layer.
- Put the pan back in the fridge until the chocolate is set.
- Cut it into bars and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 163Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 306mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 24gProtein: 4g