My Nanaimo Bar Recipe (Nut Free)

2:44:00 PM

The holidays will soon be upon us, and you know what that means: baking.

Being from Vancouver my husband and I try to sneak little Canadianisms and West Coast-inspired foods into our Chicago-born kid's evolving traditions. It's fun. These Nanaimo bars at Christmas time are case in point!

Nut free Nanaimo Bar recipe. 30 minutes or less for this delicious West Coast Canadian treat. Nut allergy friendly. || Sew at Home Mummy

This sweet treat is named after the Vancouver Island city of Nanaimo, British Columbia, just under a 2-hour ferry ride from Vancouver:

for the record, Vancouver's populace is much larger than Nanaimo's (don't be deceived by the size of that dot)
What I love most about my modified recipe from all of the others is that it's nut free (I have a severe nut allergy) - it does contain coconut, which is not technically a nut but a drupe.

Here we go!

30 minutes.

INGREDIENTS (split into layers)
Layer 1 (bottom):

  • ½ c Butter (unsalted)
  • ¼ c Sugar
  • 5 tbsp Cocoa
  • 1 ¾ c Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1 c Coconut (shredded, sweetened)

Layer 2 (middle):

  • 2 tbsp Vanilla Custard (I use this one every year, here's the affiliate link on Amazon: Bird's Custard)
  • 2 tbsp and 2 tsp Heavy cream (I use whipping cream)
  • 2 c Icing or Powdered sugar
  • ½ c Butter (unsalted), melted

Layer 3 (top):

  • ¼ c Butter (unsalted)
  • 8 Semi-sweet chocolate baking squares

Pan Prep:
Line an 8x8 pan (or the like) with parchment paper. Do not grease. Set aside. Prepare a space in your freezer to accommodate your pan to cool layers.

Layer 1 (Bottom Layer):
In a double boiler, melt first 3 ingredients in bottom layer list above (butter, sugar and cocoa) until smooth. Remove from heat and add coconut and graham cracker crumbs. Press well into the bottom of your pan making sure layer is evenly distributed. Place flat in freezer to cool while you work on Layer 2.

Layer 2 (Middle Layer):
In a bowl combine all middle layer ingredients listed above (powdered/icing sugar, custard powder, cream, melted butter) and whip until combined and smooth. Apply to bottom layer, smoothing evenly. Cool in freezer while you prepare layer 3.

Layer 3 (Top Layer):
In a double boiler, melt Layer 3 ingredients (chocolate and butter) and mix until smooth. Pour over cooled Layer 2. Rock and tilt pan to move hot chocolate quickly over the top of the custard mixture to achieve an even distribution of chocolate.

Chill for 1 hour in the freezer. Serve at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator.

I hope you enjoy these as much as us West Coasters do - and my kids - they absolutely devour these!

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