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Calgary Nanaimo Bars

This version of Nanaimo bars may claim roots in Alberta, but the original was said to be dreamed up in a British Columbia kitchen. They're three delicious layers of Canadian goodness. —Carol Hillier, Calgary, Alberta
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    3-1/2 dozen


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 3/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds, optional
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons 2% milk
  • GLAZE:
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  • Line an 8-in. square baking pan with foil, letting ends extend over sides by 1 in. In a large heavy saucepan, combine sugar and cocoa; add butter. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Whisk a small amount of hot mixture into eggs. Return all to the pan, whisking constantly. Cook and stir until mixture reaches 160°. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in cracker crumbs, coconut and, if desired, almonds. Press into prepared pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until set.
  • For filling, in a small bowl, beat confectioners' sugar, pudding mix, butter and milk until smooth; spread over crust.
  • In a microwave, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Spread over top. Refrigerate until set. Using foil, lift bars out of pan. Discard foil; cut into bars.
Nutrition Facts
1 bar: 116 calories, 7g fat (4g saturated fat), 21mg cholesterol, 72mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.

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  • resalee
    May 6, 2020

    Didn't last 24 hours in our house!

  • cindiak
    May 3, 2017

    My grandma used make these all the time. This is the same recipe she gave me. To this day, it is one of my favorite cookies.

  • seasons4
    Nov 14, 2016

    These are definitely 5-star bars! They disappeared so fast at a church potluck! My pastor is from Canada and grew up with these goodies.I was out of graham crackers, so I used Keebler striped shortbread cookie crumbs instead. Otherwise, I made it as written, including the chopped almonds. It was difficult to determine when the base reached 160 - my thermometer was slow, and I was afraid of overcooking it. But they turned out great.

  • Dawn schultz
    Oct 19, 2016

    These were a childhood Christmas favorite made by my Austrian aunt they were called vermino bars

  • 55322
    Oct 22, 2014

    These bars have been part of my Minnesota family for over 50 years. Ours are named Dairy Bars due to all of the wonderful butter used in them. Growing up on a dairy farm and then marrying a farmer makes these extra special.

  • ranson
    Aug 4, 2014


  • Mom4food
    Jul 11, 2014

    These are excellent! I think the next time I make them, I will double the glaze on top.

  • klamgs
    Jul 10, 2014


  • Maluhiamoni
    Jul 4, 2014

    These are very rich but most loved them. I had a little trouble trying to figure out cooking crust (1st layer) to 160 degrees since I (& most?) do not have a candy/food thermometer. A better description of that part of the recipe should be noted. These bars are not for anyone watching the fats & sugars in their diet.

  • SrSuzy
    Jul 2, 2014

    What can I use in place of cocoanut .? Only thing I do not have on hand.