This Lil Piglet

No-Bake Nanaimo Bars – A Chocolate Holiday Treat

I know, I know; Halloween is just ahead but I’m already talking Christmas squares. I promise you it’s for a good reason; Christmas isn’t that far away and this will help you get organized. These no-bake Nanaimo Bars are a classic Canadian dessert that are always included in our family on a tray of Christmas treats but are truly good anytime of year. They are easy, sweet, delicious and bursting with chocolatey goodness.

No-Bake Nanaimo Bars - A Holiday Treat // via @thislilpiglet

Nanaimo Bars – Origin

I’ve heard these holiday bars called a few different names but we know them as the origin of Nanaimo, British Columbia where they were served aboard ferries and in coffee stands. I don’t think there was a time growing up where we didn’t have Nanaimo Bars at a gathering, in cookie exchanges or at holiday events.

Nanaimo Bars - A Holiday Treat //

Nanaimo Bars are a bit sweet so a little goes a long way. My husband on the other hand would say that they are the perfect amount of sweet. He’s not a huge coconut fan but these are one of his favourites during the holidays. Either way one thin is for sure, chocolate holiday treats and Christmas just go together.

Follow Me

If you like this recipe, let me know in the comments below, check out my other recipes and I’d also love if you’d pin it for later on Pinterest or follow along for other great recipes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Holiday Entertaining Guide

Through to the new year I will be sharing several delicious dessert and meal (or appetizer) recipes to help you entertain guests and family through the holidays in my Holiday Entertaining Guide. This recipe is part of the Holiday guide; make sure you check back for other new delicious recipes.

Other Chocolate Treats

Chocolate Coconut Balls

Chocolate Coconut Balls //

Dark Chocolate Truffles

Dark Chocolate Truffles //


Nanaimo Bars - A Chocolate Holiday Treat //

5.0 from 2 reviews
Nanaimo Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16
  • Bottom Layer...
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1¾ cups graham wafer crumbs
  • ½ c walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 cup coconut
  • Second Layer...
  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 tbsp cream
  • 2 tbsp vanilla custard powder
  • 2 cups icing/confectioner's sugar
  • Third Layer...
  • 1½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp butter
  1. In a small saucepan, melt first 3 ingredients on medium heat stirring until smooth. Add egg, turn off heat and stir to thicken. Stir in wafer crumbs, coconut and walnuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8" x 8" baking dish.
  2. In a mixer, cream butter, cream, custard powder and icing sugar together well, beating until light and fluffy. Spread cream mixture over bottom layer.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips and butter over low heat, stirring until smooth and runny. Cool until it's not too hot but still pourable. Pour melted chocolate over second layer to evenly coat the top layer and cool in refrigerator.
  4. Cut into squares before serving or to freeze ahead for guests.



6 comments on “No-Bake Nanaimo Bars – A Chocolate Holiday Treat”

  1. Pingback: Chocolate Coconut Balls No Bake Recipe | The Bewitchin' Kitchen

  2. Kents favourite too, love this recipe

  3. Pingback: Dark Chocolate Truffles Recipe - Too Easy to Believe - Sober Julie

  4. Hi yes I would like to know where do you get custard powder and what kind of cream do you use like you mean whip cream or what? I don,t think our store in shop rite here carry custard powder so can you tell me where I can find it thanks

    • Hi Susan! I use Bird’s Custard Powder by Kraft and found it in the baking aisle of my grocery store. I’m assuming you’re in the US. I’m in Canada but I did a quick search and see it on and they have it so would think they have it in store as well. As for the cream, it’s a heavy cream so 35% or up, the more fat % the better for the filling but 18% would work. I hope this helps.

  5. We all adore Nanaimo Bars in our home, and Nanaimo is just up the island a way! Thanks for the recipe!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe:  

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.