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Nanaimo Bars (A Canadian Traybake)

Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Servings 8 x 8" Square Tin


  • Base Layer:
  • 0.5 cup unsalted butter
  • 0.25 cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1.25 cups graham cracker/digestive biscuit crumbs
  • 0.5 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1 cup coconut
  • Second Layer:
  • 0.5 C unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp custard powder
  • 2 C icing sugar
  • Third Layer:
  • 114 g dark chocolate
  • 30 g unsalted butter


  • Melt first three ingredients over a bain marie*.
  • Add the egg, and stir until it has cooked and thickened.
  • Remove from the heat, and stir in the crumbs, and nuts.
  • Press firmly and evenly into the pan. Chill in the fridge while making the second layer.
  • For the custard layer, cream together the butter, custard powder, and icing sugar, until light and fluffy.
  • Add whipping cream, and whip until light. Spread over first layer, and chill until firm.
  • For the chocolate topping, melt the butter and chocolate together over a bain marie, being careful not to overheat.
  • Remove bowl from the heat, and allow to cool. Once cool, but still pourable, spread over the custard layer, and chill to set.


*Bain marie is a fancy way of saying hot water bath. It is used to describe cooking items in the oven surrounded by water (to ensure even cooking), or cooking items in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. In our case, it means the latter.