Serious Eats: Recipes

Cakespy: Nanaimo Bars

Note: Jessie Oleson (aka Cakespy) drops by every Monday to share a delicious dessert recipe.

[Photographs and original art: Jessie Oleson]

The origins of the Nanaimo Bar are shrouded in mystery. Popular legend has it that these no-bake bars hit the mainstream when a housewife entered a batch named after her hometown into a magazine contest; however, some say it actually has its origins stateside as the "New York Slice."

Hazy origins aside, few will argue that Canada is where the bar came into its own, and even fewer will argue its deliciousness. A three-layered delight consisting of a coconut-chocolate base topped with a rich custardy buttercream and then finished off with a layer of bonus chocolate on top? Yes please.


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