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microwaving American
Nanaimo Bars Recipe-8623

Photo by: Mark Shapiro
Comments: 0


Named for the city on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, these no-bake squares are family favorites in our households.

Yield: Makes 3 dozen bars



  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (500 mL) hazelnut flour (see Variations)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup (125 mL) chopped walnuts


  • ¼ cup (50 mL) butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) milk
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) GF custard powder (optional) (see Notes)
  • 2 cups ( 500 mL) GF sifted confectioner’s (icing) sugar


  • 1 tsp (5 mL) shortening
  • 1 to 2 oz (30 to 60 g) semi-sweet chocolate, cut into 6 pieces


  • 9-inch (2.5 L) square pan, lightly greased


1. Base: In a large bowl, blend together melted butter, egg and vanilla. Add cocoa, sugar, hazelnut flour, coconut and walnuts. Stir until combined. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Chill completely.

2. Filling: In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter. Slowly add milk, custard powder, if using, and confectioner’s sugar. Mix until combined. Spread over base and chill.

3. Glaze: In a small bowl, microwave shortening and chocolate on Medium for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir until completely melted. Drizzle in ribbons over chilled filling. Refrigerate before cutting into squares.


Substitute gluten-free white cake crumbs, almond flour or pecan flour for hazelnut flour.

For a more traditional thick glaze, melt together 3 to 4 oz (90 to 120 g) semisweet chocolate and 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter. Substitute an equal amount of instant vanilla pudding mix for custard powder.


A 1-oz (30 g) envelope of custard powder contains ¼ cup (50 mL).

One individually wrapped square of baking chocolate equals 1 oz (30 g).

© 2003 Donna Washburn and Heather Butt

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Serving size is 1 bar. Nutritional information does not include optional custard powder.

117kcal (6%)
11mg (1%)
0mg (1%)
28mcg RAE (1%)
14mg (5%)
4mg (0%)
4g (19%)
9g (13%)
0mg (3%)

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