A Canadian classic. You can buy custard powder in the baking section of the grocery store. I never have a use for it except to make Nanaimo Bars, so I use 2 tablespoons of instant vanilla pudding powder instead.

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Nanaimo Bars

Joan Donogh
Chocolate and graham wafer crumb base, vanilla filling, topped with chocolate.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16



  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups graham wafer crumbs
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Vanilla Filling:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons custard powder
  • 2 cups icing confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 4 squares semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon butter



  • Combine butter, sugar, cocoa and egg in a saucepan. Place over simmering water in a double boiler, or over low direct heat. Cook and stir until thick and smooth, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  • Add graham wafer crumbs, coconut and nuts and stir to combine.
  • Spread in a greased 9 inch square pan and pack down firmly.

Vanilla Filling:

  • Cream butter. Combine milk and custard powder and blend until smooth. Stir into the butter.
  • Add icing sugar and blend on low speed with mixer until smooth. Stir in vanilla.
  • Spread filling over chocolate layer. Chill for 15 minutes.


  • Melt chocolate and butter together. Spread over the filling. Refrigerate. Cut into bars.



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