A Week of Vegan Holiday Treats – The Perfect Nanaimo Bar

The Perfect Vegan Nanaimo Bar

Growing up in Canada Nanaimo bars were a holiday staple (along with the ubiquitous Canadian Butter Tart). Finding a vegan version in stores is almost impossible. Here is a veganized version to share with your loved one.

A quick note, it can be difficult finding vegan graham crackers, most have honey in them. You can find vegan ones if you look.

The Recipe


Bottom Layer

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (I use Earth Balance) or margarine
  • 2 cups vegan graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds, walnuts, or pecans (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp warm water, mixed

Middle Layer

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter (again, I use Earth Balance)
  • 1 - 3 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 2 tbsp vegan custard powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Top Layer

  • 4 squares vegan semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each) or 2/3 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter


Bottom Layer

  1. Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts.
  4. Press firmly into an ungreased 8" x 8" pan.

Middle Layer

  1. Combine butter, non-dairy milk, custard powder, and icing sugar.
  2. Beat until light.
  3. Spread over bottom layer.
  4. Set in fridge to firm, about an hour, or in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Top Layer

  1. Melt chocolate and butter over low heat.
  2. Cool.
  3. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer
  4. Chill in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
  5. Slice into desired squares. Use a heated knife to help ease the cutting. Simply run the knife under hot water, dry the knife, and cut.

For some variations you can substitute the non-dairy milk for the middle layer with juice (cherry,pomegranate, or blueberry), add chopped cherries, or strawberries, etc. Have fun with it!

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