Must-Make Nanaimo Ice Cream Cake

Nanaimo bars are a timeless and popular addition to any dessert platter. In fact, the popular treats, which hail from Nanaimo, B.C., are usually the first to disappear at a party.

Turn the classic sweet tray favourite into a decadent frozen True North dessert by layering the traditional base and custard filling with ice cream, then topping it off with a layer of chocolate. Slice and serve at your next get together for a new twist on a winning dessert that’s sure to disappear before it even starts to melt.


Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cool Time: 9 hours (minimum)
Total Time: 10 hours
Makes: 8 servings

4 cups premium quality vanilla ice cream

½ cup butter, softened
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 egg
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs

Custard Filling:
1 cup butter, softened
5 Tbsp custard powder
6 Tbsp 35% cream
3 ¾ cups icing sugar

1 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tsp butter



1. In top of a double boiler or metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water, melt butter, sugar, and cocoa powder until smooth, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. In a large bowl, beat egg. Slowly whisk in stovetop mixture (to temper egg) until smooth. Stir in coconut and graham cracker crumbs; set aside.

Custard Filling:
1. In large bowl and using an electric mixer, beat butter, custard powder, and 35% cream until light and fluffy. Beat in icing sugar in 2 additions until combined.
2. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

1. In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate and butter on low, for about 1 minute, stirring once or until melted.

1. Let ice cream stand at room temperature until spreadable, about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, line an 8-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 3-inch overhang on all sides. Press base into bottom of pan. Spoon half of the ice cream on top of base; spread evenly. Freeze along with remaining ice cream for 15 minutes.
3. Spread custard filling over ice cream. Freeze for 15 minutes. Spread with remaining ice cream. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 3 hours.
4. Spread chocolate topping over ice cream. Return to freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.
5. To serve log, using plastic wrap overhang as handles, remove from loaf pan. Remove plastic wrap and place on serving platter. Cut into 1-inch thick slices using a hot knife. Serve.

Looking for more delicious recipes? Try our oh-so-tasty Nanaimo S’mores.

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