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.

Chocolate Mint Nanaimo Bars in a pile

What is a Nanaimo Bar?

Nanaimo Bars are a Canadian confection (just like butter tarts!) 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.

ingredients to make Chocolate Mint Nanaimo Bars

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.

process of adding layers to pan to make Chocolate Mint Nanaimo Bars

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!

  1. Thoroughly mix ingredients for the bottom layer and bake. (Per recipe below.) *Be sure to cool completely.
  2. Combine ingredients for the mint cream layer. Spread on cool or cold crust.
  3. Melt chocolate chips and spread over mint layer. Cool completely and cut into squares.

process of pourince chocolate on top of mixture to make Chocolate Mint Nanaimo Bars

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

Did you love these Chocolate Mint Nanaimo Bars? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below! 

Chocolate Mint Nanaimo Bars in a pile
4.95 from 17 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Chocolate Mint Nanaimo Bars

These Nanaimo Bars are a great twist on a classic dessert, combining chocolate, coconut, and mint-flavored custard!
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings 16 squares
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Ingredients  

Bottom Layer

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped, or pecans
  • cup butter melted
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 egg

Mint Layer

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons custard powder
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract
  • green food coloring

Top Layer

  • ¾ cup chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

It is important that all layers are cooled completely or the mint layer will melt.
4.95 from 17 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 425 | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 128mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 460IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
close up of Chocolate Mint Nanaimo Bars with writing
Chocolate Mint Nanaimo Bars with writing
Chocolate Mint Nanaimo Bars with a title
cutting squares of Chocolate Mint Nanaimo Bars with a title

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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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Comments

  1. Oh my gosh….thank you for this recipe!  I moved to Florida from WA state three years ago.  We went to Canada all the time.  But I always bought mint Nanaimo Bars from our local grocery store, QFC.  They were amazing, but I could never find a recipe for them. I will be making these this year at holiday time. Thank you, thank you!!

  2. This is my first time making mint Nanaimo bars and this recipe is amazing. Uses a lot of chocolate but is so worth it. I’m a mint lover and changed the recipe in the slightest but you won’t be disappointed with the end result. A definite must make. 5 stars

  3. Hey I want to try this recipe soon but are they easily moved or will they fall apart or melt if not in fridge for long?

  4. These are the ingredients for Bird’s Custard Powder: Cornstarch, Salt, Artificial Flavouring, Colour (Annatto). If you don’t care about the colour, that leaves you with three ingredients you likely already have (it’s fake vanilla flavouring, so real vanilla extract is not only an acceptable substitute, it will likely taste better). For one tablespoon of Custard powder, you can substitute one tablespoon of cornstarch plus a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a tiny pinch of salt. I really don’t know why anyone buys custard powder!

  5. Am planning to make these so thought I’d check out the comments first. Perhaps the reason for the runny middle layer could be that some bakers are putting the chocolate layer on while it is still too hot. I would think that it would have to cool a bit before spreading it on to prevent the butter in the middle layer from melting. Just a thought.

  6. The unsalted butter in the custard needs to be softened (not melted) when you are mixing the ingredients together. If the custard is too runny, that might be the issue.

  7. Great recipe, but I had the same problem with the middle layer being too ‘runny’. I tried the recipe again and substituted the custard powder with the cornstarch & icing sugar alternative and it came out the same. I’m fairly new to cooking but I assume the best fix for this would be to add extra icing sugar next time for the middle layer? I thought maybe I didn’t refrigerate it long enough but after putting them both back in the fridge the consistency is still the same.4 stars

    1. Since it’s mainly butter, it should hold its shape fairly well. Did you use regular butter (not a light product or margarine)? I can’t say for sure why yours is runny as mine always turns out well. I would suggest adding a little bit less milk if yours is not the right consistency.

  8. Made these per recipe (except that I substituted 2 Tbsp of instant vanilla pudding powder for the custard powder). They came out GREAT! Thanks, Holly! Merry Christmas!5 stars

      1. Thank you! I have another question if you don’t mind. I tried to ask one of the ladies above, but no response.

        Maybe you can help me with this. Did you use McCormick Mint extract or Peppermint? I keep reading such contradicting reviews online as to what’s better. Some say Mint is too strong and they use Peppermint, some say Mint is better, some insist that Spairmint is best. Some people even say that Mint has a medicinal taste to it. Maybe they didn’t bake it right. How did yours taste?

        Also, how much of the green coloring did you use? I didn’t see it in the recipe. I would really love to make it. I make a killer Tiramisu and Pakhlava, so I am a perfectionist when it comes to deserts. And to make it perfect one has to know the exact ingredients names :)

        It’s the only way to make it right. I would really appreciate your help. What kind of Mint did you use and the amount of the coloring?

      2. I used Peppermint extract and it was good. The mint flavor is there but not overpowering.

        For the green food coloring, I’d suggest starting with a few drops and mixing them in. Continue adding a drop or two until you get the green color you like. Enjoy!

  9. I made these today but the middle layer didn’t set properly :( it’s all runny and not the soft consistency of a nanaimo bar.
    Was I supposed to cook it? Or literally just mix all together, pour and refrigerate?
    Please help!

    1. No cooking is required, you could mix everything together and it should be about the consistency of frosting. Did you add the full amount of custard powder?

    1. Kathy, did you use McCormick Mint extract or Peppermint? I keep reading such contradicting reviews online as to what’s better. Some say Mint is too strong and they use Peppermint, some say Spairmint is better, some insist on Mint. I even saw a chocolate cookie recipe on the back of McCormick Peppermint extract, like they suggest to use it with the chocolate. I don’t want it to taste medicinal, like some people state it does with Mint. Maybe they didn’t bake it right. How did yours taste?

      Also, how much green coloring did you use?
      Thank you!

  10. I have a fondness for sweet & salty, as well as chocolate & mint – Im thinking that using crushed pretzels may work in place of graham crackers if sweet/salty taste is desired??? has anybody else tried pretzels in the mix yet? I’d be interested to know how it turned out! & I’ll report my findings if I ever get around to trying it! LOL1

  11. I love anything chocolate and mint. These look great! Thanks for linking up for Friday Favorites. I’m featuring you this week!

  12. Saw these on the Flour Me with Love link board and had to check them out. They look so beautiful and sounds tasty!!! Thanks for sharing!

  13. I’ve never heard of Nanaimo bars before but this picture sucked me right in! Apparently I NEED to try them, love the mint and chocolate combination and that crust sounds amazing! Pinning to my Christmas Treat board. :)

  14. These look delicious, Holly! I’ve never used (or seen) custard powder, but I’d definitely comb the grocery for it just to make these yummy green minty chocolatey bars. Yum! Pinning.

    1. Its called Birds custard powder and comes in a tin from England. Basically vanilla flavored corn starch. Which everyone who bakes knows is the base of any homemade custards.

  15. I made these and they are great, but I would just make one change to the topping because it didn’t turn out as it should. So I looked up other recipes and found out that you should use 4 oz of semi sweet chocolate and 2 Tbsp unsalted butter. Also if you can’t find custard powder like me, then use 2 Tbsp cornstarch and 1 tsp vanilla extract, or you can use just 2 Tbsp instant vanilla pudding powder mix.

      1. It would be nice if you would add these tips for the CUSTARD POWDER ON YOUR RECIPE. I for one, have never heard of Custard Powder, nor would I have known where to look for it.

      2. I have included tips where to purchase (and where to find) custard powder in your grocery store or online. While it sounds delicious, I have not tested the suggestion above so I am unable to add it to the recipe.

    1. Andrea, maybe u can help me. I keep asking on here but yet no response. What exactly did u use: Mint or Peppermint? What brand? How much good coloring? Thank u!