Making Mint Nanaimo Bars

I love to bake. I bake when I’m happy, I bake when I’m upset but my favourite time spent around the mixer is with my girls and grandma.

I do have to admit something, although I’m embarrassed to say this, I had never made Nanaimo Bars myself. I created the Nanaimo Bar Trail a few years ago and eat Nanaimo bars weekly when sharing it with writers or visitors to this fantastic city of ours, but I had never actually made my own!

I invited my grandma to join us because she makes fantastic Nanaimo Bars every Christmas and I wanted her to share her wisdom, tips and time with me and my girls passing the tradition down.  We got out my Pink (yes fuchsia pink) Kitchen aid mixer and got to work!

We used a recipe I found on twitter and it looked easy enough to follow – plus the picture sealed the deal. Below is the list of ingredients you’ll need and instructions. I’ve added my tips in italics but you are welcome to put your own twist on the recipe or follow the original found on the link.

Bottom Layer

  • 1 cup of Chocolate Chips
  • ½ cup of butter
  • 1 ¼ cup graham crumbs
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup flaked coconut

Mint Layer

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons custard power (I used Birds Custard of course!)
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract
  • Green food coloring

Top Layer

  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips (the more chocolate you add will make the top layer thicker – thinner layer will cut easier)
  • 2 teaspoons oil (I used coconut oil)
  • Crushed candy canes (I added this option from other recipes I had seen)


  1. Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper (this really helps! once the layers are all cool, you just cut around the edge of the pan to loosen, turn upside down and the entire treat pops out)
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate chips for the bottom layer in a small bowl. (I just did it in the microwave and it worked fine)
  3. Add graham crumbs, coconut and chopped pecans. Mix well and press into the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate until completely cooled. (If you do this with kids, be ready with a different activity to do while the layers cool because the kids expected this to be a continuous process and it was stop /start with all the cooling of the layers)
  4. Beat all the ingredients for the mint layer on medium until completely combined. (might want to make sure butter is really soft –mine wasn’t and needed to be mixed for a long time before it didn’t look chunky)
  5. Spread over the cooled base, and then refrigerate this layer.
  6. Microwave the oil and chocolate chips on medium heat until just melted. Spread over the mint layer (oil makes it runny so you can just pour over then lift up the pan and tilt to spread evenly)
  7. I’m adding this step: crush up your candy canes into crumbs (this part was fun – we let the girls smash the candy canes with the rolling pin) then spread the crumbs over the chocolate before it cools
  8. Completely cool all layers then cut into squares and enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Making Mint Nanaimo Bars



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