Canadian Baking!

Hi all!

I have had a really nice day today and met a really wonderful Canadian family during one of the university tours I took around campus. The family were so sweet and even gave me a little gift from home (maple butter) that they thought might brighten my day!

The family was helping their son consider coming to the UK to study and were asking me what it is like living here as a Canadian, so I thought I would post a nice Canadian recipe adapted so it can be made easily with stuff in the UK.


So here is a nice Scottish twist on a west coast favourite!


Nanaimo Bars

Makes 24 Nanaimo bars.

Each bar is 214 calories.


This is a quintessential Canadian dessert and very popular on the West Coast as they are named for one of the cities on Vancouver Island. Tradition in my family was always that you had to eat a Nanaimo bar on the ferry to Nanaimo. The recipe, however, requires a few ingredients that are a bit hard to get your hands on in the UK (or Tesco makes them too expensive to be worth it…£5/$10 CAD for a box of graham crackers). So I have made some adaptations to the Nanaimo Bar recipe from the cities tourism website to make these lovely treats possible over here.

Sorry, but I only have a final result photo. Like the post and comment if you want step by step photos and I will post again shortly with them!


Layer One

  • 1/2 cup butter (unsalted)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 Tbs cocoa
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups plain digestive biscuit crumbs (these replace the graham cracker crumbs – you can make the crumbs by putting the biscuits in a ziplock bag and hammering them with the bottom of a mug until they are a fine crumb)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1 cup coconut

Layer Two

  • 1/2 cup butter (unsalted)
  • 2 Tbs and 2 tsp cream (I use double cream)
  • 2 Tbs custard powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (because I can’t seem to find vanilla custard here, only plain)
  • 2 cups icing sugar

Layer Three

  • 4oz (usually four squares) dark or semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter



  1. Start by lining two loaf pans or one 8in square pan with baking paper.
  2. Layer One
    1. Combine butter sugar and cocoa in a double boiler and mix until completely melted.
    2. Add egg and stir – be careful not to allow the egg to get too hot and begin to scramble.
    3. Remove from heat and stir in the rest of Layer One ingredients.
    4. Press evenly into the bottom of the pan(s).
    5. Place in fridge while prepping next layer.
  3. Layer Two
    1. Cream all ingredients together with electric mixer or stand mixer.
    2. Beat mixture until light coloured (about three-four minutes)
    3. Spread evenly over bottom layer of pan(s).
    4. Take a little sample of the left over in the bowl to test for quality…a nice treat for the cook.
    5. Place in fridge while prepping next layer.
  4. Layer Three
    1. Melt chocolate and butter together in a double boiler over a low heat.
    2. Allow to cool! This is very important or it will melt the custard layer.
    3. When cool, but not stiff, pour over the second layer.
    4. Quickly smooth this layer flat without mixing it into the custard layer below. This requires a quick and steady hand, but is not too hard to accomplish.
  5. Place in fridge to set for at least 2 hours, but ideally over night. It is best to store these treats in the fridge.
  6. Cut into segments and serve!


Now you can enjoy a Canadian favourite even far from its home!


One thought on “Canadian Baking!

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