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3-Layer Nanaimo Bars

(8 Votes)
3-Layer Nanaimo Bars
SERVES
10
CHILL TIME
6 Hr 40 Min

These dessert bars may have gotten their start in Canada, but once folks in the U.S. got a taste of 'em, they were such a hit that they're now one of the most popular desserts in all of North America! Make a batch of these no-bake, 3-Layer Nanaimo Bars when you're craving creamy, coconutty, and chocolatey goodness!

What You'll Need:
  • CRUST
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  •  
  • FILLING
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar
  •  
  • TOPPING
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
What To Do:
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter for crust. Add sugar and stir until smooth. Stir in egg and vanilla, and remove from heat. Add graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and nuts; mix well. Press mixture evenly into an 8- x 8-inch baking dish and refrigerate until ready to fill.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter for filling until creamy. Add pudding and milk, and mix until thickened. Slowly beat in confectioner's sugar until smooth. Evenly spread pudding mixture over bottom layer. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set.
  3. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter for topping and chocolate chips until smooth. Spread over pudding layer and refrigerate 10 minutes, or until chocolate begins to harden. Using a knife, score chocolate into 1-inch squares.
  4. Refrigerate 6 hours, or until set. Cut into squares, and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Nutritional InformationShow More

Servings Per Recipe: 10

  • Amount Per Serving % Daily Value *
  • Calories 633
  • Calories from Fat 324
  • Total Fat 36g 55 %
  • Saturated Fat 21g 104 %
  • Trans Fat 0.8g 0 %
  • Protein 3.3g 7 %
  • Amount Per Serving % Daily Value *
  • Cholesterol 68mg 23 %
  • Sodium 300mg 12 %
  • Total Carbohydrates 80g 27 %
  • Dietary Fiber 1.2g 5 %
  • Sugars 68g 0 %

Ratings & Comments

My Rating:  

I have not made this yet so I cannot rate it.

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made this recipe exactly as written it came out Fantastic!!! love the walnuts in it and did some research there are many many Canadian variations and Yes Canucks DO use walnuts we live close to the Canadian border

Need to add I have never heard of potato salad made with mashed potatoes always cubed potatoes but whatever floats your boat!

Well, whatever it's called, this looks good and reminds of a dessert my mother used to make. I'll have to make this and then give it a rating. Thanks for sharing.

wcmundy...no need to get hysterical. I'm from Nanaimo, and I see many variations on our Canuk style of food preparation. Even here in Nanaimo, there are taste and styling Variations. I get bothered that U.S. style potato salad (Mashed potato rather than cubed/diced) is different... but I just flip the page and move along, knowing that what I like is what I like!. The World runs on variation and adaptation, don't ya' know! Relax, not worth a heart attack.... it's only a Dessert item!

I'm just curious...where did you have mashed potatoes claiming to be potato salad? Perhaps it was overcooked and broke down in the mixing process or someone was sadly misinformed in calling it potato salad. I, as my mother and grandmothers, make mine with cubed, boiled potatoes and mayo and a variety of additions/spices (depends on what's on hand or my mood).

Whatever this is - it is NOT a Nanaimo Bar. We Canadians - especially those of us on the West Coast - would NEVER make them like this. There should be Fry's Cocoa Powder in the crust layer, as well as chopped almonds (NOT walnuts). The crust should be CHOCOLATE-y - NOT blonde-ish. The centre should be made with Bird's Custard Powder - not Vanilla Pudding. Leaving one ingredient out, altogether - and substituting for two other ingredients that are completely different in taste and texture - make this recipe something completely OTHER than Nanaimo Bars. Fry's Cocoa Powder, and Bird's Custard Powder - can be found in almost ANY grocery store that has a half-decent baking section. So to say that these two items - along with chopped almonds - are "exotic" - is just silly. Even WalMart stocks BOTH those items. The custard centre is a little less likely to wobble and smoosh when you try to cut the top (chocolate) layer - the only layer in the above recipe that is correct. Its texture and taste is quite different from Vanilla Pudding (?!?). Ditto the almonds - which are somewhat crunchier, and far less acidic than walnuts. Not to mention the entirely missing Cocoa Powder. I'm sorry - but no matter how you look at it, rationalise it, whatever - this recipe is NOT Nanaimo Bars. And it's an insult to we Canadians to be falsely represented with it.

Copied from Wikipedia " Many varieties exist, consisting of different types of crumb, different flavours of icing (e.g., mint, peanut butter, coconut, mocha), and different types of chocolate."

Why were the two Canadian comment that challenged the veracity of this recipe removed ?!? This is NOT a "famous" Washington State recipe - this is a WORLD-renowned CANADIAN recipe from Nanaimo, BC. Do you think that be re-writing hitory - and changing the recipe - it will make it true ?!? The recipe you have posted above - is NOT the "Nanaimo Bar" recipe. AT ALL.

Hello! You are correct - these originate in Canada, as our recipe note states, but they are very popular in the states that border Canada, too. This is also not an exact duplicate of the original Nanaimo Bar. We simplify our recipes, so that any home cook can make them and still enjoy them. Although they may not be exactly the same as the Nanaimo Bars you grew up with, we think you'll still enjoy these as much as others have! We hope you'll give them a try. )

You are suggesting that the original recipe - which includes cocoa powder and almonds (rather than walnuts) in the base layer and Bird's Custard Powder in the middle layer - uses "exotic" items that a "home cook" would not be able to find at his/her grocery store ?!? Also - just because an item is "popular" in another country - that does NOT give that country the right to usurp or change a recipe - call it the same thing - and say it's a "Famous State Dessert" of said other country. Very disappointed in this. It now makes me question the veracity of ALL of the recipes as being authentic to the stated area . . . And the bottom line is that your recipe - whatEVER it could be called - is NOT a Nanaimo Bar.

Fry's Cocoa Powder and Bird's Custard powder are not available everywhere. I have never seen it stocked in any of my local grocers. It is only available online for me. So yes, for some, these are exotic items that a home cook are not able to find in my local grocery store.

Hear, hear! In the US, in the Midwest, certainly never saw or heard of Fry's or Bird's. Pudding suggestion is what I would need. Sorry to see you felt culturally attacked, but variations of standard recipes just allow for individuality (and availability!), and don't diminish the original.

I love this recipe but I use banana pudding instead of vanilla, and dark chocolate for the topping. This makes it rich but sooo good.

I have made this for years, and the recipe I have calls for 1/4 c. cocoa in the bottom layer? It is better if you leave it a day in the refrigerator, it gives the sugars time to dissolve and flavor is way better.

You are right. The original recipe - from Nanaimo, BC (on Vancouver Island) - calls for 5 Tbsp of Fry's Cocoa Powder in the bottom layer. Also the finely chopped nuts should be almonds - not walnuts. And finally - the middle layer is a CUSTARD layer (Bird's) - not pudding.

You are an extremely rigid person who thinks the whole world has Fry's Bird's. You are mistaken very narrow minded. Have you never adapted a recipe to your liking....Sure you have. Foolish of you to act so insulted.

Enjoyed the creamest of the filling. Wanted to make it as soon as saw the recipe but did not have grahm cracker crumbs. Subsituted butter cracit was so good.ker crumbs and

really, really rich!! will soon be take-along fav!!!

Ok while I have not made this recipe yet I am giving it 5 STARS it is a very good recipe for Nanaimo bars and uses easy to get ingredients I just don't think its fair to put down t a recipe just because someone forgot to type in a pan size which pretty easy to judge by the amount of ingredients

8"X8" pan....

what size Baking dish?

We apologize for the confusion. You will need an 8 x 8-inch baking dish for this recipe. We've updated the instructions to include this information. Thank you for your comment!

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