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Nanaimo Bar Ice Cream Cake

Nanaimo Bars are apparently British Columbia's all time favorite sweet treat!  They are a no-bake, three layered bar with a crumb base, butter cream filling and glossy chocolate topping.  Everyone loves Nanaimo Bars, so it seems.

We celebrated some family birthdays yesterday...and enjoyed this ice-cream dessert as the birthday cake.  It is an adaptation of the famous Nanaimo Bar and seemed to be a hit with I'll share the recipe with the rest of you! 

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans, divided (reserve 1/4 cup cup to sprinkle over topping)
  • 1 cup coconut
  •  8 cups (2 Litres) vanilla ice-cream
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • whipped cream, chocolate syrup and chopped pecans as garnish if desired
  1. Prepare 9" x 13" pan by lining with heavy foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang at each end for handles.  Spray with cooking oil. 
  2. In saucepan, melt butter with sugar over medium heat.  Stir in egg yolks, cookie crumbs, 1/2 cup pecans and coconut.
  3. Press crumb mixture firmly into pan.  Bake in 350°F oven for 20 minutes or until firm.  Cool completely.
  4. Soften ice-cream in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.  Spread and pack evenly over crust.  Freeze at least 4 hours or until solid.
  5. Combine cocoa, butter, sugar, cream and vanilla in small saucepan.  Heat and stir over medium heat until boiling.  Remove from heat and cool about 20 minutes (until lukewarm and slightly thickened).  Then spread evenly over ice-cream layer.  Sprinkle with additional chopped pecans.  Freeze for at least one hour or until firm.
  6. To serve:  Allow cake to stand in refrigerator for about 30 minutes to soften.  Use foil handles to remove cake from pan.  Using a sharp knife dipped in hot water, slice cake.  Top each slice with whipping cream and chocolate syrup.

    Note:  This cake can be made well in advance, wrapped in heavy duty foil and plastic wrap and stored in freezer.

    Serves 15.


    1. Mmm, this is getting bookmarked and I already have ideas for when and where I will serve this! Nanaimo Bars are one of my very favourite squares. Kraft had a Nanaimo Bar Cheesecake recipe a couple years ago that was really good too. I made it for a couple of birthdays.

    2. This looks wonderful, but I was wondering where does the 2 egg yolks go in this recipe. I've read the recipe over a few times but can't seem to find were you add them, have my eyes failed me?

    3. Really beautiful. Nanaimo bars have a short life span in this household, as does ice cream. Delicious idea. Blessings..

      Anna in Toronto

    4. Egg yolks goes into the Crumb base of the cake.
      Thanks a lot for the great summer dessert!!!!

    5. Looks like my kind of dessert...

    6. Mud Pie Deluxe is so similar but easier in that you freeze the crust -no baking. Was on your website about 2 months ago-it is now my summer favourite go-to dessert-always have one in the freezer -and doesn;t seem to take up as much room since todays recipe looks bigger-I often cut it in small pie wedges and freeze a few together for when someone pops in. Thot this might help someone who didn;t want to use oven (like us in summer) but still wanted the almost same effect and dessert. The mud pie deluxe is always a hit-I use different mocha ice-creams in it as I cannot always find coffee ice-cream. Thank you again for the recipe and your site.

    7. Wow, this looks absolutely delicious. The kids would love this one! Thanks for sharing..

    8. I've never heard of Nanaimo Bars, but I do know Ice Cream Cake. This looks scrumptch!

    9. Oh!Yes! This looks wonderful. Perfect for summer celebrations. I can even make it, cut it into serving portions, wrap them and refreeze them. And most people do like Nanaimo Bars. But among those who don't, to my amazement, are the people at k*ng arth*r fl**r, who in their cookie book claim in print they don't like them and then print an odd version of the original using sweetened pudding and extra sugar for the custard layer.

    10. I made this for Sunday's birthday cake. Although it tasted good, the crust was very hard to cut. 20 min. baking was too long. Maybe unbaked would've been okay.

    11. Probably because I baked it in a springform pan, not foil lined.


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