Mint Nanaimo Bars are fun to make with a minty twist and great served any time of year!
This luscious recipe is a twist on Nanaimo Bars with a dense chocolate base, a layer of creamy mint filling, and a rich chocolate topping. It’s hard to have just one.
What is a Nanaimo Bar?
Nanaimo Bars are a Canadian confection with a cream filling between two different chocolate layers.
The creamy layer is similar to buttercream frosting but with the addition of custard powder for a slightly denser consistency.
They originate from British Columbia and have traversed the globe—and it’s no wonder why! Nanaimo Bars are one of those delectable sweet treats that are easy to make but turn out super fancy looking. They really are irresistible, and usually one of the first things to disappear from a dessert buffet. This chocolate mint version is no different.
What’s in a Nanaimo Bar?
BASE The base of these bars is similar to a brownie but with more texture and flavor. A chocolatey combination of cocoa, graham crumbs, chopped nuts and coconut.
FILLING The mint cream layer in the middle is much like a mint buttercream with the addition of custard powder. You can often find custard powder in the grocery store either near the puddings or sometimes with International items (it’s from England) or order it online here.
TOPPING The smooth topping is made with milk chocolate chips mixed with a little oil to help with melting them in the microwave. The vegetable oil also keeps the chocolate a little bit on the softer side to prevent it from cracking when hardening.
How to Make Chocolate Mint Nanaimo Bars
There are three layers in most recipes for Nanaimo Bars, and this one is no different, but it’s super easy!
- Thoroughly mix ingredients for the bottom layer and bake. (Per recipe below.) *Be sure to cool completely.
- Combine ingredients for the mint cream layer. Spread on cool or cold crust.
- Melt chocolate chips and spread over mint layer. Cool completely and cut into squares.
Tips & Tricks
- It’s important that the base layer be completely cool before layering, or the mint cream will melt. Col the base layer in the refrigerator.
- Make sure the custard layer is cooled and completely set before spreading the melted chocolate on top, as well.
- Let Nanaimo Bars chill in the refrigerator for as long as possible before cutting them. This allows the layers to become really firm.
- To make sure chocolate chips don’t scorch, heat in 10-second intervals using a Pyrex or other microwave-safe container. Stir thoroughly in between the 10-second intervals, allowing the chips to melt as much as possible while stirring. A good rule of thumb: the less microwaving the better when melting chocolate.
Storing Nanaimo Bars
- Nanaimo Bars have lots of dairy. Plus, the layers like to melt together if the temperature gets too high, so store them in between layers of wax paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- Chocolate Mint Nanaimo Bars are perfect for a make-ahead dessert and they are great for freezing for the holidays! Just wrap them up in layers and keep them in a freezer-safe, airtight container for up to 6 months.
Decadent Desserts to Try
- Milano Cookie Balls – a no bake treat
- German Chocolate Cake – rich & moist
- Fantasy Fudge – no candy thermometer required
- Chocolate Mint Brownies – soft & chewy
- Better Than Sex Cake – freezer friendly
- Black Forest Chocolate Trifle – only 5 ingredients
- Magic Cookie Bars – 7 layers of magic
Did you love these Chocolate Mint Nanaimo Bars? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below!
Chocolate Mint Nanaimo Bars
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1 cup walnuts chopped, or pecans
- ⅔ cup butter melted
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 egg
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 3 tablespoons custard powder
- 1 teaspoon mint extract
- green food coloring
- ¾ cup chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl mix all of the ingredients for the bottom layer until well combined. Press into prepared pan and bake 11 minutes. Cool completely.
- Beat all ingredients for the mint layer on medium until completely combined. Spread over the cooled base. Refrigerate until set.
- Microwave chocolate chips and oil on medium heat until just melted. Spread over mint layer. Cool completely and cut into squares.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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The oil in the chocolate (normally stirred in once it is melted), is to stop the set chocolate from cracking when sliced, not to help the chocolate melt in the microwave.
Hey Rebekah, you are right! That is what vegetable oil, specifically, does. It keeps the chocolate a little on the softer side to prevent it from cracking when hardening and to be the perfect texture to bite into!
Nanaimo bars are from British Columbia but “BC” as we Canadians call it is actually a province and the bars are actually from a city in BC called… Nanaimo! It is a nice little city to visit if anyone does go to the mainland its just a short ferry trip ride away on Vancouver Island (a lot of people go to the island often just to explore Victoria but there’s a lot of different places/things to do and see there and they’re only about 1.5-hour car drive away from each other but if you don’t have a car that’s okay! you can ride the ferry and explore the island without a car and use public transportation or bring a bicycle along!).
Just wondering if you can freeze these?
Yes, these freeze well.
What is custard powder were can I find it
Custard powder is similar to pudding mix and you can usually find it with the puddings. You can also buy it online at Amazon here.
Made this exact to recipe and mint layer is so runny cut it and it oozed out very very disappointed:( was for Christmas dessert what did I do wrong I let everything cool out on my deck (winter) and it still did this
Did you use custard powder?
I really want to try these but have family members who won’t like the nuts or coconut..I know….but they LOVE mint and chocolate! Do you think they would turn out ok without the nuts and coconut? Thanks for your great recipes!
Hmmm, we have not made this recipe without the nuts or coconut. Since that is a large part of the bottom layer I would try increasing your graham crumbs to reach the right consistency. Hope that helps Leslie! Let us know how they turn out for you. For some other delicious mint chocolate recipes you could also try these Ritz Cracker Thin Mints or this delicious Chocolate Mint Oreo Mouse.