Skip to Content

Kahlua Nanaimo Bars

Kahlua Nanaimo Bars. A celebration of my favourite coffee liqueur and my favourite Canadian cookie bar. Perfect for the Holidays.

Kahlua Nanaimo Bars

Kahlua Nanaimo Bars

I have tasted a coffee version of Nanaimo bars in my travels before. At first thought I would just add some espresso powder to the filling to get the flavour I wanted. Thinking that coffee can be an overwhelming flavour though, I decided a more subtle approach might work.

After making a batch of Irish Cream Nanaimo Bars earlier in the week, I settled on a Kahlua version which would be a bit more complex in flavour. Since Kahlua is comprised of rum, vanilla bean and coffee, it was bound to be a more subtle coffee flavour.

In my opinion it worked very well. With some Kahlua in the filling, and again like the Bailey’s version, a little in the chocolate top layer, the coffee flavour comes through without being overpowering.

Kahlua Nanaimo Bars

Kahlua Nanaimo Bars

Kahlua Nanaimo Bars. Updated and improved.

Again with this recipe I have included my new and improved base for these cookie bars. With what is essentially a thick buttercream frosting centre, I found myself wanting more of the chocolatey, nutty flavoured bottom layer to balance out the sweetness better.

I first used this new and improved base in my updated version of Classic Nanaimo Bars and it got a very positive response. I will however, include the original measurements for the base in the recipe notes here, just in case you prefer the thinner cookie bar.

Dark Chocolate Chips, to melt and dip the biscotti

I like to use 50% dark chocolate chips for this recipe but you can use semisweet as well.

Toast those nuts!

One of the other things worth noting in making Nanaimo Bars of any flavour is the choice of nuts in the bottom. I get asked questions all the time about substituting them. My answer is generally, “Use what you like.”

Since these are all no-bake cookie recipes, I think it is important to toast any nuts before chopping or grinding them finely to use in the recipe. The flavour will be so much better. 

Generally, most nuts like pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds will take from 7-10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven. Lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and toss once during the cooking time.

Let you nose guide you, the nuts will begin to smell quite toasty and delicious when they are done. They should also be hot enough that you would not pick them up with your fingers. If it’s not completely heated through, it isn’t properly toasted.

Toasted walnuts in an aluminum pan

Toasting the walnuts brings out more flavour in them.

These Kahlua Nanaimo Bars are sure to be the hit of the upcoming festive season. Make them for your own cookie trays, give a dozen as a terrific hostess gift or make several batches for your annual Christmas cookie exchange. Wherever these show up they are sure to be an instant hit!

Originally published December 2017.

Like this recipe?

If you liked this recipe you many want to check out this great collection of No Bake Cookies that was incredibly popular during our last Holiday season.

No Bake Christmas Cookies Collage featured image

No Bake Christmas Cookies

Be sure to check out all the other flavours in our Nanaimo Bars Collection!

The Nanaimo Bar Recipe Collection

The Nanaimo Bar Recipe Collection

Like this Kahlua Nanaimo Bars recipe?

Be sure to browse the photo index of over 200 cookies and cookie bar recipe is in our expansive Cookies Category.

It’s easy to keep up with the latest home style cooking & baking ideas from Rock Recipes. Be sure to follow Rock Recipes Facebook Page and follow us on Instagram

Plus you’ll see daily recipe suggestions from decadent desserts to quick delicious weekday meals too. 

Kahlua Nanaimo Bars image with title text

Kahlua Nanaimo Bars

You can also sign up for our FREE newsletter to know immediately when we add new recipes. You’ll also get weekly suggestions for great family friendly  meals and desserts too!


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.
 
Visit my Amazon Store for my favourite kitchen gadgets and appliances, plus recommendations from my personal cookbook collection.
5 from 1 vote
Kahlua Nanaimo Bars
Kahlua Nanaimo Bars
Prep Time
25 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Kahlua Nanaimo Bars - a celebration of my favourite coffee liqueur and my favourite Canadian cookie bar. Perfect for the Holidays.
Course: Cookies/Bars
Cuisine: Canadian Inspired
Servings: 24 cookie bars
Author: Barry C. Parsons
Ingredients
For the Base Layer
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 8 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup fine or medium unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
For the the Kahlua Frosting Filling
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 4 1/2 cups icing sugar i.e. powdered sugar or confectioners sugar
  • 1/3 cup Kahlua liqueur
For the Chocolate Topping
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua liqueur
Instructions
To Prepare the Base Layer
  1. In a small saucepan, melt together the butter, sugar and cocoa over low heat.
  2. Add the beaten egg and continue to cook, stirring constantly to fully cook the egg with the mixture resembling a soft scrambled egg texture.
  3. Add the graham crumbs, coconut and walnuts.
  4. Mix together until well combined then, press into the bottom of a parchment paper lined 9×9 inch baking pan.
To prepare the Kahlua Frosting Filling
  1. With an electric mixer, beat together the butter, icing sugar and Kahlua until very smooth.
  2. This frosting should be very stiff but spreadable. If you think it’s too thick, you may add a few drops of Kahlua at a time to bring it to the right consistency. If it is too soft, add a little more icing sugar.
  3. 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
  1. Melt the chocolate chips and Kahlua together over low heat, just until the chocolate is melted, don’t over heat it.
  2. Spread quickly over the chilled frosted layer. Return to the fridge until the chocolate sets.
  3. Cut into squares or bars. These freeze very well.
Recipe Notes

Here is the ingredient list for the base of the original version of this recipe as noted in the post above. For the Base Layer

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp cocoa
  • one beaten egg
  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup fine or medium unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Notes on Nuts

One of the other things worth noting in making Nanaimo Bars of any flavour is the choice of nuts in the bottom. I get asked questions all the time about substituting them. My answer is generally, "Use what you like." Since these are all no-bake cookie recipes, I think it is important to toast any nuts before chopping or grinding them finely to use in the recipe. The flavour will be so much better. Generally, most nuts like pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds will take from 7-10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven. Lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and toss once during the cooking time. Let you nose guide you, the nuts will begin to smell quite toasty and delicious when they are done. They should also be hot enough that you would not pick them up with your fingers. If its not completely heated through, it isn't properly toasted.

Montreal Steak Spice Refrigerator Pickles featured image
← Previous
Refrigerator Pickles - made with Montreal Steak Spice!
Creamy Dijon Chicken Linguine close up phot of single serving on a white plate
Next →
Dijon Chicken Linguine with Crimini Mushrooms and Toasted Almonds
Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Vicki

Friday 18th of October 2019

This looks delicious, though, I'm not a fan of coconut, is there a substitute you recommend?

Many thanks

Vicki

Vicki Downey

Thursday 17th of October 2019

Hi

These look delicious, however, I'm not a fan of coconut, what would you substitute ?

many thanks

Vicki

Sandy Grdovich

Saturday 29th of June 2019

Have made the bailey's one prior, and they were great. Looking forward to trying the kaluha which I am making now. I do have a reocurring problem with the base though. Both times, the base becomes a pool of grease. Perhaps the butter keeps breaking? Once it is in the pan, I have to soak up all the grease on top with paper towels. Is there something I keep doing wrong?

Barry C. Parsons

Saturday 5th of October 2019

Are you using real dairy butter. Don't overcook the base.

Melissa

Saturday 8th of December 2018

Does this recipe not use custard powder because that's what adds the flavour in the other recipe?

Barry C. Parsons

Thursday 20th of December 2018

No custard powder. We are going for a completely different flavour here. Adding it would be battling flavours.

Shari

Monday 1st of January 2018

I just made these today and I have to say I think I like them better than regular Nanaimo bars! Will definitely be making these over and over again!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

shares

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!