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Chocolate Nanaimo Bars

Chocolate Nanaimo Bars. A triple chocolate version of the classic Canadian no bake treat that may well be one of the best chocolate cookie bars you’ve ever tasted.

Chocolate Nanaimo Bars close up photo of a single cookie bar on a white platter

Chocolate Nanaimo Bars

Sooner or later, some treats here on Rock Recipes were destined to be.

We have a bit of a love affair going with the Nanaimo Bar, a classic Canadian treat loved nation wide. They are said to have originated in the coastal British Columbia town that is their namesake.

Chocolate Nanaimo Bars close up photo of singe cookie bar on a wooden cutting board

Chocolate Nanaimo Bars

Many folks have experimented with differing the custard cream filling that is the center of a traditional Nanaimo Bar. We have made a number of different versions over the years as well, as can be seen in our Nanaimo Bars Collection.

The Nanaimo Bar Recipe Collection

The Nanaimo Bar Recipe Collection

I actually have a couple of more versions planned based upon others that I have seen and a suggestion or two from readers of Rock Recipes. Stay tuned fro those, I’m planning on posting them before the Holidays this year.

Chocolate Nanaimo Bars on a white platter with coffee in the background

Chocolate Nanaimo Bars

The inspiration for Chocolate Nanaimo Bars

In trying to dream up a new version of these delicious treats, I actually googled “flavours that go well with chocolate”. The result yielded many of the original suspects that have already appeared here.

Mint, orange, raspberry and liqueurs like Bailey’s Irish Cream and Kahlua all came up in the results. Some spice suggestions also came up but I thought that might be a step too far from the basics of this recipe.

Chocolate Nanaimo Bars on wooden cutting board with title text for Pinterest

As I thought more about what goes with chocolate, it hit me! What goes better with chocolate than more chocolate?

I set out to make the most chocolate version of a Nanaimo bar that I could think of. And boy, did these ever deliver that super hit of chocolate.

Chocolate Nanaimo Bars photo of bottom layer being pressed into pan

Chocolate Nanaimo Bars. Pressing the bottom layer in the pan.

I started with the bottom layer, which traditionally uses graham wafer crumbs as a base ingredient. The natural substitute here for a super chocolate version was to use chocolate cookie crumbs instead! Oreo crumbs worked particularly well.

Next, how to get the deepest chocolate flavour in the cream filling? I took inspiration for that layer from the frosting that I use for my Orange Velvet Cake.

Chocolate Nanaimo Bars shown adding the centre filing

Chocolate Nanaimo Bars, adding the middle layer.

That recipe uses melted chocolate chips in the frosting, for a very smooth silky result. I decided to make a much stiffer version of that frosting as the center for these Triple Chocolate Nanaimo Bars.

That, I think was the best decision I made for the success of this recipe. The centre turned out to me a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate dream that reminds me of a good chocolate ganache.

I think it would make a great centre for homemade chocolates as well. I must keep that in mind.

The finishing touch for these Chocolate Nanaimo Bars

Chocolate Nanaimo Bars complete with top chocolate later in pan

Chocolate Nanaimo Bars. The chocolate finish!

I kept the topping the same as in all my other versions of Nanaimo bars. I did make sure to use dark, 50% cocoa chocolate chips (my favourite) to boost the chocolate-iness even more. 

Dark Chocolate Chips, to melt and dip the biscotti

50% cocoa, dark chocolate chips.

No worries if you are not a dark chocolate lover though, Just use semi-sweet of milk chocolate if that’s your preference.

In the end, I think I’ve achieved one of the most intensely chocolate cookie treats I have ever tasted. Maybe even the most chocolate-y! 

Even Spouse, who limits her intake of sweets more than anyone else in our household, declared, “This is the best Nanaimo Bar I’ve ever had!”

With n endorsement like that, you just know you gotta try them. With the Holidays on the horizon, like all of our Nanaimo bar recipes, these freeze exceptionally well. Just try to stop sneaking to the freezer to grab one. It’s going to be a challenge for me for sure.

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Chocolate Nanaimo Bars on white background with title text for Pinterest

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Chocolate Nanaimo Bars close up photo of a single cookie bar on a white platter
Yield: 36 cookie bars/squares

Chocolate Nanaimo Bars

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Chocolate Nanaimo Bars. A triple chocolate version of the classic Canadian no bake treat that may well be one of the best chocolate cookie bars you've ever tasted.

Ingredients

Bottom Layer

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 8 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/4 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (Oreo crumbs work well)
  • 3/4 cup fine or medium unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans) toasted

Middle Layer (filling)

  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 2/3 cup butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 4 tbsp milk or whipping cream (approximately)

Top Layer (chocolate)

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp butter

Instructions

To prepare the Base Layer

Melt together the butter, sugar and cocoa over low heat.

Add the eggs continue to cook, stirring constantly to fully cook the egg to a soft scrambled texture. 

Add the chocolate cookie crumbs, coconut and walnuts.

Mix together until well combined, then press into the bottom of a parchment paper lined 9x9 inch baking pan.

To prepare Filling

With an electric mixer, beat together the butter, cocoa and icing sugar until it just starts to come together.

Add the vanilla paste and melted chocolate chips and beat well, adding just enough milk, a tablespoon or two at a time, until smooth.

This frosting should be very stiff but spreadable. (Much thicker than you would use to frost a cake for example) If you think it's too thick, you may add a few drops of milk at a time to bring it to the right consistency.

Spread evenly over the bottom layer.

Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours before adding the chocolate topping.

To prepare the Chocolate Topping

Melt together the chocolate chips and butter over low heat, just until the chocolate is melted, don't over heat it.

Spread quickly over the chilled frosted layer.

Return to the fridge until the chocolate sets.

Cut into squares or bars. These freeze very well.

Notes

As you can see from the photographs, I prefer my Nanaimo bars on the thicker side, in terms of height.
If you prefer though, you can prepare this recipe in a 9x13 inch pan rather than a 9x9 inch pan as the recipe states.
The only adjustment to make is in the top layer. You will need more chocolate to cover the larger pan properly.

Therefore, when using a 9x13 inch pan use 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and 3 tbsp butter instead. This will give you a more standard thickness in your Nanaimo bars.

The recipe yield should be about 50% more and have approximately 1/3 fewer calories per cookie square as well.

NOT A COCONUT FAN? You can just substitute additional nuts for the coconut if you prefer.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information

Yield

36

Serving Size

1 cookie bar

Amount Per Serving Calories 208Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 32mgSodium 91mgCarbohydrates 22gFiber 1gSugar 18gProtein 2g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.

Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.

 

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John

Friday 27th of August 2021

You can’t change the Nanaimo bar recipe and call it a Nanaimo bar. It’s not a Nanaimo bar anymore. It’s wrong.

Marge

Thursday 22nd of October 2020

Made these yesterday and they are delicious. I used chocolate graham cracker crumbs but wish I would’ve used Oreo crumbs. Do you put the cookies in the food processor to make your crumbs?

Jessi

Friday 31st of January 2020

i actually live in the city of nanaimo, i was looking at beautifull pictures of nanaimo bars on the internet, and i discovered the tripple chocolate nanaimo bar. i am a student at vancouver island university.

Barb

Friday 20th of December 2019

These squares turned out great and were well received at a Christmas party. Down side - now I have to make both regular and chocolate Nanaimo squares when entertaining:)

Elaine

Thursday 14th of November 2019

Why are the eggs being cooked to a soft scramble? That doesn’t sound right?? Typo?

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