My Mom’s Nanaimo Bars

My parents are visiting this week.  Which is why I had to share one of my favorite childhood treats.

My Mom's Nanaimo Bars

My Mom’s Nanaimo Bars

I know there are millions of recipes out there for Nanaimo Bars.  Trust me I am not trying to reinvent the wheel.  I am only offering you my mom’s version.  It’s delicious but so is everything my mom makes.  She is an awesome cook and baker.  I wouldn’t steer you wrong.  The woman knows what she’s doing.  I have to be honest.  I have never made her Nanaimo Bars until today.  Why?  Easy, because she makes them for me whenever I have a craving for them.  She’s nice like that.  This means I have been known to wait a while to satisfy a craving since my parents live in Montreal and I live in Indiana.

I have had my mom’s recipe for years.  I guess she wanted me to have it in my repertoire.  Like any good child, I just want her to make them for me.  Also you might be interested in knowing that in French (in Quebec, anyway) we call Nanaimo Bars: Barres Dominos.  I think (and I know you guys will set me straight if I am wrong) it’s because they look like Dominos…either way they are SUPER DELICIOUS!

yummy...delicious...scrumptious...fantastic...this is happiness!

yummy…delicious…scrumptious…fantastic…this is happiness!


Layer #1:

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

2 cups graham crackers crumbs

1/2 cup very finely chopped walnuts (or pecans or almonds if that’s what you have on hand)

Layer #2:

1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding

4-5 tablespoons  milk

2 cups powdered sugar

Layer #3:

4 1-ounce semi-sweet chocolate squares

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

How to:

Layer #1:  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease an 8×11 glass baking dish or line with parchment paper leaving an 1-inch overhang all-around.  Set aside.  In a large bowl combine your melted butter, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, eggs, graham crackers and chopped nuts.  Press into your prepared pan.  Bake in your preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.  Remove, let cool completely and put in your fridge.

layer #1

layer #1

Layer #2:  In a large bowl cream your butter, pudding, milk (start with 4 tablespoons) and powdered sugar, until you have a smooth consistency.  Spread over your first layer and return to fridge.

layer #2

layer #2

Layer #3:  Melt your chocolate and butter in your microwave or in a double boiler.  Gently pour over your second layer.  Return to the fridge until completely set.  Cut into bite size pieces, you may want to run your knife under hot water between cut to make clean slices.

final layer #3

and finally layer #3

OH MY SWEET HEAVEN....these are so good!

OH MY SWEET HEAVEN….these are so good!

Printer Friendly: Nanaimo Bars

Why I love my mom’s the best?  I favor the gorgeous pale yellow color of her Buttercream filling as opposed to the white icing some recipes call for.  It’s the vanilla pudding, it definitely adds creaminess to the layer.  I love the delicate nutty flavor in the crust and that it is not too sweet.  I absolutely adore the simple chocolate layer, not too dark not too sweet, not too thick….just perfect.

these make a great hostess gift, a great "sorry you are having a rough day", a great potluck dessert...and on and on

these make a great hostess gift, a great “sorry you’re having a rough day”, a great potluck dessert…and on and on

Peace and My Mom is Awesome,


I shared my recipe on this lovely linky party:


11 thoughts on “My Mom’s Nanaimo Bars

  1. Isabelle….c’est aussi barre nanaimo en français….et un bonjour à ta maman de ma part…..enjoy the felling to be together…
    Bonne journée Marie xox

  2. These look great! I love that it’s pudding not super sweet frosting. Just found your blog thanks for the add on Tasty Kitchen! I have added you to my feeds and facebook under my blog name “The Adventure Bite”. Look forward to connecting more!


I love your I love cookies,please leave one ;)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s