The Original Nanaimo Bar

There seems to be a lot of speculation surrounding the origin of the famous Vancouver Island treat, the Nanaimo Bar.  The city of Nanaimo has offered its theory about these three layered treats and sharing its namesake with the bar, Nanaimo's history reveals that these homemade bars were sent by miners' families to their loved ones in the field as a sweet treat to brighten their day. Whatever the case, Nanaimo Bars have become a British Colombian staple, offered in most cafes, petrol stations and restaurants throughout region and they certainly brighten a hungry cyclist day.

For the bottom layer

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 3/4 cup Digestive/Graham crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1 cup coconut

1. Melt first three ingredients in the top of a double bolier.

2. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken.

3. Remove from heat.

4. Stir in crumbs, coconut and nuts.

5. Press the base mixture firmly into an ungreased 8 X 8 pan.

For the second layer

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp of cream
  • 2 tbsp.vanilla custard powder
  • 2 cup icing sugar

1.Mix butter, cream, custard powder and icing sugar together well.

2. Beat until light.

3. Spread over bottom layer

for the third layer

  • 4 squares chocolate (1 oz each)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

1. Melt the chocolate and butter over low heat.

2. Leave to cool.

3. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator until stiff.


This entry was posted on Thursday, May 14th, 2009 at 17:50 and is filed under Canadian Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. I think I’ve found my next ‘energy Bar’ for cycling…
    I can’t believe you’re getting me to cook…

  2. that looks downright sinful but so yum!

  3. Nanaimo

    You’ve totally stolen the Joyce Hardcastle recipe and written it as your own! Shameful!

  4. found this recipe along time ago (2005) on the internet while in Vancouver – cant remember if it was Joyce Hardcastle, if so all credit to her! At no point did I say I created it. Sorry if it offends you.

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