Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars

Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars 10

Nanaimo Bars is one of those recipes that had been on LLP’s to-do list for…probably 2 years. Ever since it started popping up across the blogospere. I guess we needed a little extra nudge to move it from ‘to-do’ status to ‘done!’. That nudge was definitely Michelle’s Peanut Butter version of Nanaimo Bars. We were convinced in under 5 seconds!

I’m not going to bore you with the history, but long story short Nanaimo Bars come from Canada. Nanaimo, British Columbia to be exact. I THEEENK the actual pronunciation is nah-NIGH-moe but don’t quote me on that. The original Nanaimo Bars were not peanut butter filled, but for Kara and me it was the peanut butter filling that made these bars look AND taste irresistible.

I have a lot of favorite dessert recipes because…let’s face it…I have a sweet tooth. I’d choose dessert instead of dinner everyday of the week if I could. But I can’t. So I won’t. I’ll compromise by making a dessert for every birthday celebration, BBQ and get-together of any kind. And these Nanaimo Bars will be in my regular rotation because they’re just that good. If you’re a Reese’s PB Cup lover than you will absolutely love these.

Note: Next time I make these bars I am going to try without the coconut. I couldn’t taste the coconut anyway and I think they will be just as delicious without it. If anybody else has made this recipe and thinks the coconut is an ingredient I shouldn’t skip then let me know!!

Here's what you'll need

Here’s what you’ll need. I forgot to put the confectioners’ sugar in the pic :-/


Whisk together eggs, sugar and melted butter


Crush and measure out the graham cracker crumbs


Add the  crumbs to your egg mixture


…and the coconut and cocoa powder too. Stir until smooth and combined

Cook the crust and let cool

Press into baking dish, cook the crust, then let it cool completely

Combine butter, peanut butter and confectioners' sugar for the middle layer

Combine butter and peanut butter then add confectioners’ sugar (alternating with milk) for the middle layer

Spread over the cooled crust. Pop in fridge to set

Spread over the cooled crust. Pop in fridge to set

Finally spread the chocolate layer on top

Finally spread the chocolate layer on top

These were WAY.TOO.GOOD!

These were WAY.TOO.GOOD!

Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars
Yields 24
Write a review
For the Crust
  1. ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
  2. ½ cup sugar
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 2½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  5. ¾ cup shredded sweetened coconut
  6. ⅓ cup cocoa powder
For the Filling
  1. 1¼ cups creamy peanut butter
  2. ⅓ cup unsalted butter
  3. 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  4. ⅓ cup milk
For the Top Layer
  1. 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  2. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Start with the crust. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar and eggs. Next, stir in the graham cracker crumbs, coconut and cocoa powder until ingredients are completely combined. Transfer to prepared baking dish and press evenly into the bottom of your dish, it will be a little sticky. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and place baking dish on a cooling rack. Allow crust to cool completely before preparing the filling.
  3. To make the filling, microwave the peanut butter and butter in a large bowl until melted and smooth. Microwave in 30 second intervals. Whisk in the confectioners' sugar 1 cup at a time, alternating with the milk. Whisk until smooth. Spread evenly over the cooled crust then refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  4. Make the chocolate layer last. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butter in 30 second intervals on 50% power. Be careful to not overcook!! Spread the melted chocolate over the peanut butter layer and place in the refrigerator to set.
  5. Once set, use a knife to cut into squares. Store any leftover bars covered in the refrigerator.
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker


  1. Bread and Soup Lady says

    You got the pronunciation of Nanaimo correct. Keep the coconut.
    The original recipe is also delicious. It has been a local favorite for decades!

    • says

      Carol, you should be able to print now. There was a problem with the plug-in but it’s all fixed now. Sorry about that, hope you enjoy the recipe. It’s one of our faves!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *