These delicious Mint Nanaimo Bars are the perfect twist on the classic, Canadian treat. Completely no-bake, they have a chewy chocolate base, layer of mint filling, and delicious chocolate topping.
Nanaimo bars are a Canadian favorite named after the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia. A few weeks ago I shared my favorite Nanaimo bar recipe. But since there are soooo many endless possibilities – sharing these mint Nanaimo bars was 100% necessary. They have the perfect mint chocolate flavor and tons of texture.
Mint Nanaimo Bars
These bars are completely no-bake. In traditional Nanaimo bars, the middle layer is made with custard powder for a creamy, custard flavor. But in these mint Nanaimo bars – the middle flavor is a delicious peppermint. There are 3 layers of tastiness:
- A chewy chocolate base that’s filled with graham crumbs, chopped walnuts and finely shredded coconut.
- A layer of mint buttercream. It’s thick, creamy and – yes – very sweet.
- And a layer of semi-sweet chocolate on top.
The base layer is made the traditional Nanaimo bar way by melting together butter, sugar and cocoa powder over a double boiler – then once they’re completely melted, whisk in 1 egg. **The egg will temper (ie temperature increase) as you whisk the mixture together, so it’s safe to eat.** Then the thick chocolate mixture is stirred into the graham crumbs, walnuts and coconut.
The base gets pressed into the bottom of the pan. Then a thick layer of mint frosting goes on top, followed by melted chocolate.
Because of the 3 layers, there are quite a few steps to make these bars – but they’re very easy to make.
Tips & Tricks
- Line your pan with parchment paper so there’s an overhang around the sides. This way you can lift the bars out of the pan once they’re set, then cut into bars. (You can see this in the photos above).
- This recipe can be doubled and made in a 9×13 inch pan.
- When whisking the egg into the chocolate mixture – make sure to whisk constantly and vigorously. At first, the mixture will look lumpy with butter kind of oozing out. But as you continue whisking it will become a thick and glossy mixture (no more lumps) and the butter will incorporate. If you don’t whisk quickly – you can end up with scrambled eggs!
- I like to use finely shredded coconut because I find that the bars cut more easily.
- The amount of mint extract will depend on how minty you like the flavor – start will a little, then taste test and add a little more to suit your preference.
- Feel free to skip the green food coloring if you prefer.
- Adding a little oil to the chocolate topping makes the bars easier to cut.
- When the chocolate on top is about 75% hardened, score the bars with a thin knife where you plan to cut them. This makes the bars way easier to cut.
For more easy, classic Canadian treats – be sure to try:
Mint Nanaimo Bars
- 1 ¾ cup graham crumbs
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 - 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- green food coloring
- 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- Line an 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan with parchment paper.
- Add the graham crumbs, chopped walnuts and coconut to a large bowl and give them a stir.
- Add about ½ inch water to a medium saucepan, and place a glass bowl overtop (ensure that the bottom of the glass bowl is not touching the water). Turn the burner to low heat.
- Add the butter, cocoa and sugar to the glass bowl. Melt together until smooth.
- Add in the egg and whisk vigorously (about 5 minutes) until the mixture is thick and glossy.
- Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Beat the butter until soft.
- With the mixer on low speed, beat in 2 cups powdered sugar and the mint extract.
- Beat in the cream 1 tablespoon at a time, adding a little extra powdered sugar as needed until it reaches the desired thickness and sweetness.
- Mix in the food coloring a few drops at a time.
- Spread the frosting on top of the base layer and place in the fridge for 5-15 minutes.
- Finely chop the chocolate (if not using chocolate chips) and place in a heatproof bowl.
- Microwave on medium power for 45 seconds (not high/regular power or it will burn). Remove from the microwave and stir. Repeat the process until melted.
- Stir in the oil.
- Spread the chocolate over top of the mint layer.
- Let the chocolate harden fully (about 2 hours), then cut into bars. Once the chocolate is about 75% hardened - score the chocolate with a thin knife for easier cutting. Do not cut the bars when cold from the fridge, otherwise the chocolate will crack.
Making these mint Nanaimo bars! Great recipe! I am using chipits and will probably melt one cup and a half! Love chocolate and mint flavours!
Delicious! And I totally agree – the combination of chocolate and mint is soooo good.
I used coconut oil in with the top chocolate layer….turned out perfect!
Can I make the base layer without coconut & walnuts?
I think that would be fine. However, I’d increase the amount of graham crumbs to about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups.