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Kahlua Nanaimo Bars

Kahlua Nanaimo Bars

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
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 24 cookie bars
Author Barry C. Parsons


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


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.