The traditional Canadian dessert is transformed into a scrumptious layer cake in this Nanaimo Bar Cake! Chocolate cake layers with a vanilla custard frosting and chocolate coconut crumble then finished off with a chocolate ganache drip and those oh so fabulous Nanaimo Bars. Cake heaven, folks. Pure cake heaven!
Nanaimo bars are a clαssic Canadian no-bake dessert bar that consists of 3 layers. The bottom is a crunchy chocolate crumb, coconut, and nut combination. The middle (and my personal favourite part) is creamy custard buttercream. The top is a thin layer of decadent chocolate ganache. There you have it: a Nanaimo Bar!
I could sit here and talk about Nanaimo Bars all day but I feel like you’d much rather eat them than read about them so let’s get started, and follow my instructions below. And then come back here and tell me how much you too now adore Nanaimo Bars.
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup hot water
2 tsp vanilla
Chocolate Coconut Crumble:
1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup fine shredded coconut
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp black cocoa powder optional (for color)
Vanilla Custard Frosting:
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup custard powder
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp heavy cream more if needed
Dark Chocolate Ganache:
3 oz heavy cream
3 oz good quality dark chocolate
For The Dark Chocolate Ganache:
Add the chopped chocolate into a bowl. Pour the heated cream over the chopped chocolate.
Wrap in plastic wrap and let stand for 2 mins. Using a spatula to stir until combined, smooth, and silky. Allow to cool entirely, until thickened but is still pourable.
For The Chocolate Cake:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 6″ round baking pans with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingred̾i̾ents until combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk all wet ingred̾i̾ents until fully incorporated.
With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add the dry ingred̾i̾ents to wet and mix for 2-3 mins until combined.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
Cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then invert on a cooling rack to fully cool.
For Chocolate Coconut Crumble:
Preheat the oven to 350F and use the parchment to line a baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingred̾i̾ents and mix until fully incorporated.
Add melted butter and mix well until it begins to clump.
Pour evenly on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 mins. Allow to cool completely until ready to use.
For Vanilla Custard Frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the butter on high speed until light and fluffy.
Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mix on low until combined. Then add custard powder and turn the mixer up to medium and let mix for 3 minutes.
Continue to mix in vanilla and 2 Tbsp cream for 1 minute until smooth and creamy.
Place the first cake layer on a cake stand or serving dish. Evenly spread about 2/3 cup buttercream on top of the cake layer. Sprinkle some of the crumble on top.
Repeat with the remaining layers and spread a thin layer of the buttercream over the entire cake (thicker on the very top). Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
On a well-chilled cake, with a spoon or a piping bag, drip the chocolate ganache over the edges of the cake. Add more ganache on the top of the cake and spread evenly using an offset spatula.
Place Nanaimo Bars around the top border and use a Wilton 1M tip to pipe buttercream swirls between each Nanaimo Bar. Enjoy!