Nanaimo bars for when you need copious amounts of sugar!

Take this recipe and use it for when you need some serious sugar with out baking. I.E. Your laptop has broken down and has decided to beeep nonstop for hours as a form of swan song and your nerves are too shot to bake, or, your oven has spontaneously combusted but the hobs are still intact and you are supposed to be impressing some beautiful girl/boy/other with your vegan skills, or maybe you just don’t like baking? I can’t ever imagine what its like to not like baking, but there’s gotta be people out there who can’t stand it, right??  I have wanted to make these for ages but never done it, really happy with the results!. They were even better than I expected! I think you guys should have a go for sure!


Biscuitey base:
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup golden caster sugar
1/3 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup desiccated coconut
2 cups crushed digestive biscuits
1/2 cup ground almonds 

Gooey custardy layer:
scant 1/4 cup vegan margarine
2 tbsp almond milk
2 tbsp vegan custard powder (last time I checked bird’s custard powder was vegan(uk))
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups icing sugar

Chocolate layer:
1x 200g bar of vegan dark chocolate
1 1/2 tbsp vegan margarine

To crush the digestives place in a freezer bag and whack with a rolling-pin, its nice to leave some larger chunks as it gives a varied texture, but smash most of it to resemble crumbs. To make the base melt the margarine gently in a sauce pan, remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder and sugar until well combined. Now add the remaining base ingredients, stirring well too evenly combine. Press into a 9×9 square brownie pan lined with baking parchment and chill for an hour.
For the middle section beat the vegan margarine with a whisk until light and fluffy, add the almond milk, custard powder and vanilla and whisk together. Sift the icing sugar in 1 cup at a time and gently whisk each cup in until it’s just combined then give a good whisk to remove any lumps, spread evenly over the base with a rubber spatula or an offset pallet knife. Place in the fridge for another 30-45 minutes then proceed with the chocolate topping layer. Chop up the chocolate and gently melt in the micro wave for 30 seconds at a time until melted, remove from the microwave and stirring well in between each 30 seconds of microwaving. Once melted and whilst still hot, stir in the vegan margarine until fully incorporated and spread on top of the custardey layer. To create cute lil’ swirls gently swirl a cocktail stick through the chocolate layer. Place back in the fridge and allow to cool full before slicing up and serving.

37 thoughts on “Nanaimo bars for when you need copious amounts of sugar!

  1. Yum! I love the look of this! So fancy and swirly. Alas, in the US, digestive biscuits are strictly a specialty item — the kind of thing you can only find in the fancy imports section of a few super expensive stores. I bet graham cracker crumbs (or smashed grahams — also vegan) would be an excellent substitute though….Although I’m still bummed that I don’t live someplace where digestive biscuits are everywhere!

      • WHAT??!!! You are lucky you get Oreos at all. Never existed in the UK when I was living there…but why aren’t they vegan like here? That’s lame! All of our “cheap” biscuits used to be made with beef lard until pretty recently but now almost all American junk food (unless you count “cheese-flavored” things) is vegan.

      • I’m bad. It’s usually around 2 or 3 in the morning when I go on these websites — telling myself I’ll just put a few chocs and biscuits in the cart — for fun. !!!! It ends badly.

    • Bakingnotwriting – I found a variety of digestive biscuits at my local asian store (they have an indian section as well) AND I found Bird’s Custard there =) for CHEAP!
      I also found them at Fresh and Easy but they were much more expensive.

  2. I love you for this! Since I grew up near Nanaimo, I can totally justify making these once or twice a year!

    I can get the Custard Powder at a military commissary here stateside, but for those of you who can’t, you could try a cherry layer as a very yummy alternative.

    Alternate Cherry Layer:
    ¼ c. vegan margarine
    1 tablespoon cherry juice
    2 cups icing sugar
    1/3 cup maraschino cherries, chopped

    Does anybody think that coconut oil would work in place of the margarine?

  3. Wow! I have to make this! Amazing! I am definetly one without the baking fingers! I’m going to do with graham crackers 🙂 thank you for sharing this, Alex!

  4. We Aussies like nothing better than a “Sloice” (how you pronounce the word “slice” in Australese) and this is one doozy of a sloice! I find myself thinking about opportunities to increase my consumption of tea just so that I can have a sloice of this and I haven’t even made it yet! “Tea is good for you…full of antioxidants…drink LOTS of it…” (and eat a chunk of this gorgeousness every single cup…surely 20 cups a day isn’t too much? 😉 ). Love it, cheers for sharing it and from this little black duck Aussie “Choirs Moit!” 😉

  5. Thank you for this amazing vegan recipe! I also love to use Bird’s custard powder: I buy it in the Stonemanor, an English cookeyshop in Belgium! MMMMM!

    I can’t wait to make it, Alexander!
    These bars look fantastic & very appetizing too! 🙂

  6. Nanaimo bars are something I just learned about a few months ago, shortly after moving to Canada. Since your recipe is dairy free, I am thrilled to finally be able to make them!

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