Nanaimo Bars(pronounced Nah-nye-moh)- DB goes to Canada

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and

If you are on a diet don’t even LOOK at this Canadian Dessert, cuz it will BLOW your diet away!

But it will be totally worth it.

These outrageously rich and delicious treats are as delicious as they are fattening and pretty much uncomplicated to make. I followed the instructions, but I did reduce the sugar by half and they were still fine. I gave away a few to my friends and my family and I polished off the rest. Though I may not make them too often. I’m glad I did make them this time. Thanks Lauren.

Try these out if you want a piece of heaven…But make sure you share it too…

Since we don’t not get Gluten-free dough here(I tried a LOT) I just replaced it with whole wheat.
Graham Wafers

3 cups whole wheat flour
200g dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
100g unsalted butter (cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen)
80ml honey, mild-flavoured
75 ml whole milk
2 tablespoons (30 mL) pure vanilla extract

1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal.
2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.
3. Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with sweet rice flour and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.
4. Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of sweet rice flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be quite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place wafers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.
5. Adjust the rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat oven to 180′C.
6. Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more sweet rice flour and roll out the dough to get a couple more wafers.
7. Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in two or more rows.
8. Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.
9. When cooled completely, place enough wafers in food processor to make 1 ¼ cups of crumbs.
Nanaimo Bars


For Nanaimo Bars — Bottom Layer

115g unsalted butter
25g granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups gluten free graham wafer crumbs (See previous recipe)
55g almonds, finely chopped
130g shredded coconut

For Nanaimo Bars — Middle Layer
115g unsalted butter
40ml heavy cream
2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder
100g icing sugar

For Nanaimo Bars — Top Layer

115g semi-sweet chocolate
28g unsalted butter

1. For bottom Layer: Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.
2. For Middle Layer: Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.
3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.

Leave a comment


  1. hey, S, your nanimo bars are perfect you have done a really good job, mine were very thin!!, they were quite sweet, and as always my family enjoyed it

  2. A job well done, your bars look positively scrumptious!

  3. No kidding about them being so rich! 🙂 I took out quite a bit of sugar when I made mine too. The crackers were sweet enough.

  4. Mouth Watering , beautiful pics.

  5. I agree – not good for a diet. 🙂 certainly a fabulous recipe to try once or twice though. I gave a lot of mine away so I didn’t eat it all. I should have frozen some of it…

  6. Emily

     /  January 29, 2010

    Great pictures, yours look so perfect!

  7. Gosh, they look so delectable! Looks creamy and yummy. Congrats, seems like you nailed it!

  8. Just wonderful, s!I love the contrast colors there..

  9. Great job S!

  10. culinography

     /  January 28, 2010

    You’re right — these are TOTALLY worth considering blowing your diet for! Your bars are beautiful!

  11. Good idea to put a diet warning up! Your layers are so straight and beautiful! Great job!

  12. That looks perfect. I would love to have one piece 🙂

  13. sheeba,

    Nanaimo bar looks perfect. yes it is not good to take them while dieting

  14. Wonderful that just looks so good. Feel like dipping my teeth into some of that goodness.

  15. These bars looks tooo … good.. I am seeing this pic in so many daring bakers blog.. gr8 going!

  16. I have been seeing these all over the blogosphere and am absolutely enamored with them! Definitely perfect for a once-in-a-while treat. Good to know that you reduced the sugar…I like rich desserts but sometimes too much is too much.

  17. Looks very good. The best way to make your Nanaimo and eat it is to also share the rest of it with others. 🙂

  18. Well done! I now dub you an honourary Canadian!

  19. That dessert just looks heavenly… I would definitely try this out!

  20. yep….these are the real deal for sure! I have so enjoyed ‘bouncing around’ from one challenger to the other….especially on this challenge as these bars are from our local famous City!

  21. Your floral cupcake paper is so pretty, and your bars turned out just perfectly. I agree with you – these are a slice of heaven that you have to share.

  22. Great job!!

  23. wow, what a delicious dessert! How can anyone resist this chocolaty cheesy treat!

  24. They look fantastic! Glad you enjoyed them:)

    Now I’m going to check out that fantastic looking spinach recipe on your blog! Mmmmm… and just what I need after a few too many graham crackers.

  25. I should have reduced the sugar too – I accidentally doubled the sugar in the crust, and the whole thing was even sweeter! Your bars look really pretty though, so decadent 🙂

  26. it looks lucsious. and yay canada! canadian DB here 🙂

  27. Wow your Nanaimo bars look fabulous!

  28. These look fantastic! Great job!

  29. Well done on the challenge. Nom nom nom…those bars look luscious & yum!

  30. I can actually feel my hips widening ;)..but its okay i dont mind an inch more to the already big ones.. :P..these are so cool..

  31. Hey, great job. And I really love your first photo of the nanaimo bar sitting on the Canadian map; gave me one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?!” moments, in a good way. Thanks for commenting on my own post, too. I’m so glad to be a daring baker with you. Cheers! ~ Allison

  32. Beautiful bars! These are definitely worth blowing a diet for!

  33. Good idea cutting the sugar in half! I should have done that too!

  34. Looks delectable ! But as you said, blows one’s diet away!

  35. wow..these bars are yummy…awesome !

  36. i made these once myself–they are so good!!

  37. I wish I had thought to reduce the sugar in the middle layer. Beautiful bars!

  38. Thats absolutely delectable…feel like having one right away:)

  39. wonderful dessert….gives me cravings for something sweet

  40. Thank you so much for dropping by my blog. I have always been wanting to make some Nanaimo bar but always thought it was very complicated. Your recipe looks very simple and it looks so yummy. Will make some using your recipe soon. Awesome blog….Keep it going 🙂

  41. Looks so good, gooey and yummy.

  42. You got such nice straight cuts on your bars! They look perfect!

  43. Thank you for your comment in my blog. Your Nanaimo Bars look beautiful and tasty, too. And yes, it blew my diet completely, but what else could i do?LOL.
    I made the crackers gluten-free but next time I’ll try Graham flour, just to see the difference…

  44. Wow! Your bars are gorgeous! I love how perfect your layers are. Great job!

  45. Yummy! Those bars…mmm…Maybe it’s not that bad I didn’t make them. I would’ve have finished’em at once!

  46. My god, this is the 4th nanaimo bars am seeing, absolutely delicious and u guys are tempting us lot..

  47. sinful…simple awesome..

  48. I love it!!!!!!!!!
    My stomach starts roaring! It wants a piece right now and me too!

  49. Oh, yes, they are truely amazing! I love that we had a relatively easy challenge. Your Nanaimo Bars are perfection – so neatly cut!

  50. They look wonderful! And hehe yes best look away if on a diet. I still have some in the fridge and I’m trying to resist! 🙂

  51. yummy looking nanaimo bars 🙂

  52. Now that is truly decadent!!


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