Tips To Make Nanaimo Bar Recipe Nut Free Simple

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Nanaimo bars are a classic Canadian dessert, known for their rich chocolate, creamy vanilla, and nutty base. But what if you have a nut allergy or simply prefer a nut-free treat? Fear not! This recipe delivers all the deliciousness of the original, minus the nuts.

This recipe yields approximately 16 bars, perfect for sharing with friends and family (or keeping all to yourself, we won’t judge).

Gluten Free Nanaimo Bars  Gluten Free on a Shoestring
Gluten Free Nanaimo Bars Gluten Free on a Shoestring


For the Crust:

  • 1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs (gluten-free option available)
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • For the Vanilla Layer:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • For the Chocolate Topping:
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate chips (dairy-free option available)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • Directions:

    1. Prepare the Crust:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and melted butter. Mix well until everything is evenly incorporated.
  • Press the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
  • Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

  • 2. Make the Vanilla Layer:

  • In a separate bowl, cream together the softened butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla extract until well combined.
  • Gently fold in the shredded coconut until just incorporated.

  • 3. Assemble the Nanaimo Bars:

  • Spread the vanilla layer evenly over the cooled crust.

  • 4. Create the Chocolate Topping:

  • In a heat-resistant bowl, melt the dark chocolate chips and vegetable oil together over a double boiler or in the microwave using short bursts, stirring frequently, until smooth and glossy.
  • Pour the melted chocolate evenly over the vanilla layer.

  • 5. Chill and Enjoy:

  • Refrigerate the Nanaimo bars for at least 2-3 hours, or until the chocolate topping is completely set.
  • Once set, cut the bars into squares and enjoy!

  • Nutrition Facts (per bar, approximate):

    Calories: 350

  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 12g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Sugar: 25g
  • Protein: 2g

  • Please note: This is an approximate nutritional value based on the ingredients used. The actual values may vary depending on the specific brands you choose.


    This nut-free Nanaimo bar recipe is a delightful alternative to the classic version. With its crumbly chocolate crust, creamy vanilla layer, and rich chocolate topping, it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. So next time you’re craving a decadent dessert, whip up a batch of these delicious bars and enjoy!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

    1. Can I use a different type of nut-free cookie crumb for the base?

    Absolutely! You can substitute the graham cracker crumbs for another nut-free cookie crumb option, such as chocolate sandwich cookies, shortbread cookies, or even gingersnaps. Just be sure to adjust the sweetness level of the base depending on the cookie you choose.

    2. What if I don’t have any shredded coconut?

    No problem! You can omit the coconut entirely or substitute it with another ingredient like finely chopped dried fruit, crushed pretzels, or even rice krispies.

    3. Can I make these bars vegan?

    Yes! To make vegan Nanaimo bars, use vegan butter and dairy-free chocolate chips for the topping. You can also use a vegan vanilla custard for the middle layer, though the consistency may be slightly different.

    4. How long will these bars last?

    These Nanaimo bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

    5. Can I freeze these bars?