Nanaimo Bars Recipe without Custard Powder

Creamy Layers: Nanaimo Bars Recipe without Custard Powder

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If you love rich desserts that are simple to make, try Nanaimo bars. These are classic Canadian treats with no need to bake. They come from Nanaimo, British Columbia, offering a dreamy mix of flavours and textures. Three delicious layers will surely delight your taste buds.

The usual recipe for Nanaimo bars includes custard powder. But we’ve got a tasty substitute for you. Our version doesn’t use custard powder, so you can still enjoy this treat when it’s not in your kitchen.

The first layer is a crunchy chocolate coconut base. You make it with butter, sugar, cocoa, an egg, biscuit crumbs, coconut, and almonds. It’s a lovely blend of chocolate and coconut that prepares you for the creamy layers ahead.

The second layer is creamy vanilla buttercream. It’s made with butter, cornstarch, vanilla, icing sugar, and milk. This adds a soft, velvety touch that complements the chocolate base and the sweet top layer.

Finally, Nanaimo bars are finished with a chocolate layer. This layer uses dark chocolate and butter for a glossy look. It brings an extra layer of luxury to these amazing bars.

Leaving out custard powder doesn’t take away from the deliciousness of these bars. The combination of chocolate, vanilla, and coconut is still irresistible.

Prepare to wow your friends and family with these Nanaimo bars without custard powder. Follow our easy guide and enjoy the rich, creamy chocolate layers. These bars are perfect for any celebration or when you’re in the mood for a sweet snack.

How to Make the Biscuit Base

The biscuit base is a crucial part of Nanaimo bars. It supports the creamy filling and chocolate on top. Let’s go through creating the perfect biscuit base:

  1. Melt unsalted butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add granulated sugar and cocoa powder to the melted butter.
  3. Whisk the mixture until the butter has melted and the sugar and cocoa have dissolved.
  4. Slowly pour in a beaten egg, continuing to whisk the mixture vigorously.
  5. Return the saucepan to the heat and cook the mixture for 4-5 minutes, or until it thickens.
  6. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in digestive biscuit crumbs (or graham cracker crumbs) for that irresistibly crunchy texture.
  7. Add unsweetened desiccated coconut for a tropical twist.
  8. For some added crunch, mix in some chopped almonds or your favorite nuts.
  9. Line a baking tin with parchment paper and press the biscuit base mixture firmly into the pan to create an even layer.
  10. Place the baking tin in the refrigerator and let the biscuit base chill for 10-15 minutes, or until it sets.

After the biscuit base is firm, you’re closer to tasting your homemade Nanaimo bars. Next, we’ll prepare the creamy buttercream filling.

Ingredients for Biscuit Base:

Ingredients Quantity
Unsalted butter ½ cup
Granulated sugar ¼ cup
Cocoa powder ¼ cup
Beaten egg 1
Digestive biscuit crumbs (or graham cracker crumbs) 1 ½ cups
Unsweetened desiccated coconut ½ cup
Chopped almonds (or nuts of your choice) ½ cup

Now, we’ll explore the creamy buttercream filling, a key delight of this treat.

How to Make the Buttercream Layer

After you’ve made the biscuit base for your Nanaimo bars, it’s time for the buttercream layer. This layer is creamy and lovely, making the bars even more special. Let’s look at how to create this part of the Nanaimo bars:

  1. Ingredients:
  • 1 cup (225g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (or cornflour)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  • 2 cups (250g) icing sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk

Firstly, put the softened butter in a mixing bowl. Make sure the butter is at room temperature for easy mixing.

Next, add the cornstarch (or cornflour) to thicken the filling. Then, mix in the vanilla for that extra flavour kick.

It’s time for the icing sugar next. This makes the buttercream sweet and thick. Mix in the icing sugar slowly until it’s smooth.

Finally, add milk little by little, mixing as you go. Stop when the buttercream is creamy but not runny.

With the buttercream ready, spread it over the biscuit base. Use a spatula to make it even. You can find more details at [].

Chill the bars for 15-20 minutes to set the buttercream. This makes sure the layers are neat when cut.

Nanaimo bars buttercream layer

After chilling, add the chocolate topping. This step complete your Nanaimo bars. The buttercream is key, adding richness to every bite.

“The buttercream layer is like a velvety cloud, providing a luscious and creamy contrast to the chocolatey base. It’s the perfect balance of textures and flavours that will leave you craving more.” – Lisa, Moments with Lisa

How to Make the Chocolate Topping

Now, get ready to add a special touch to your Nanaimo bars. We’re going to put on a rich, velvety chocolate topping.

Begin by melting dark chocolate and butter. You can use a microwave or melt them together in a bowl over simmering water. Be careful to remove it from the heat and let it cool for 30 seconds.

After they melt into a smooth mix, pour it over the buttercream layer. Quickly spread it evenly so every bite has tasty chocolate.

Next, put the Nanaimo bars in the fridge so the chocolate sets. This makes sure you get a nice snap when you bite into them. Once firm and shiny, cut them into squares. You can keep the bars in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or, freeze them if you want them to last longer.


Can I make Nanaimo bars without custard powder?

Yes, you don’t need custard powder for Nanaimo bars. You can use cornstarch instead to get that creamy feel and taste.

How long can I store Nanaimo bars?

Keep Nanaimo bars in the fridge and they’ll last up to 5 days. For longer storage, freeze them. Just use a tight airtight container or a freezer bag.

Can I use different types of chocolate for the topping?

Definitely! Feel free to try out milk or white chocolate on top. Although dark chocolate is classic, a new chocolate type can offer a tasty change.

Can I add other ingredients to the biscuit base?

Yes, be adventurous with the biscuit base. Toss in crushed cookies, toffee bits, or dried fruit. Remember to keep the texture right by adjusting the amounts.

Can I use margarine instead of butter?

You can use margarine instead of unsalted butter, yes. But, for a richer flavour, butter is best. If using margarine, choose a high-quality one for great taste and texture.


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