Close view of homemade mint chocolate bars stacked on a plate, three distinct layers in each bar.

Prepare to delight your taste buds with a twist on the classic Canadian Nanaimo bars – the irresistible, no-bake mint chocolate bars! Inspired by the beloved Nanaimo bars, these treats take the rich and creamy layers of the original but infuse them with a delightful minty freshness. If you’re a fan of mint and chocolate, you’re in for a real treat. 

Where did this mint chocolate bars recipe come from?

These mint chocolate bars are inspired by the Canadian Nanaimo bars. These 1950s cookie bars originate from, you guessed it, Nanaimo, British Columbia. But they spread in popularity all over the Great White North and today are considered “Canada’s Favourite Confection.” 

Homemade mint nanaimo bars cut and stacked on a white plate.

What are the layers in Nanaimo bars?

The traditional Nanaimo bar consists of three layers. The bottom is a graham cracker, pecan, chocolate, and coconut crust that reminds me of a souped-up cheesecake crust. The middle layer is pretty much just vanilla-flavored frosting (awesome, right?). And the top layer is a simple chocolate ganache. Amazing. So amazing, in fact, that my classic Nanaimo bar recipe won Best in Show in my office cookie and bar contest a few years back. 

For these mint chocolate bars, we kept the graham cracker crust and the chocolate ganache top layer. But we replaced the middle vanilla layer with a mint chocolate chip filling. The combo of mint and chocolate in this is spectacular! And the green food coloring is an added dose of festivity. We are in love with these bars. 

Is that raw egg in the crust?

Kind of? The egg gets tempered with hot, melted chocolate, so it will be partially cooked. But if undercooked eggs make you shudder from a food safety perspective, you can absolutely use pasteurized eggs instead.

Overhead of no-bake chocolate crust pressed into the bottom of a square baking pan lined with parchment paper.
Four squares of homemade mint nanaimo bars plated on a white dish.

How do I store these mint chocolate bars?

This no-bake dessert can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. They also freeze beautifully! Cut them into squares and wrap each one in plastic wrap. Store in a zip-top bag or freezer-safe food storage container. Let the frozen bars sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.

Want more Christmas cookie recipes like this one?

We have over 25 tried-and-true Christmas cookie recipes for you, including our 4-ingredient peanut butter blossoms, the easiest sugar cookie cut-outs, and melt-in-your-mouth lemon snowdrops.

Close view of homemade mint chocolate bars stacked on a plate, three distinct layers in each bar.

Mint Chocolate Chip Nanaimo Bars

Yield: 24 small squares
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

These no-bake mint chocolate bars are a delightful holiday treat inspired by a classic Canadian dessert. These rich bars are perfect for satisfying a holiday sweet tooth.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding powder OR vanilla custard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Green food coloring (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 1-ounce squares semisweet baking chocolate

Instructions

  1. Line an 8x8 square baking dish with parchment paper, set aside.
For the Bottom Layer:
  1. Combine butter, sugar, and cocoa in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir frequently until butter is melted and sugar and cocoa are dissolved. Remove from heat.
  2. Temper the egg by taking a few spoonfuls of the chocolate mixture and whisking it into the egg. Add the egg and vanilla to the remaining chocolate mixture in the saucepan, whisking quickly until egg is well-incorporated. Don't worry if the chocolate starts to seize up, just stop stirring when egg is mixed in.
  3. Add in the coconut, graham cracker crumbs, and pecans. Stir until all is coated in chocolate.
  4. Dump out mixture into prepared pan and press down firmly using damp hands to form a crust. Place in fridge while preparing middle layer.
For the Middle Layer:
  1. In a stand mixer, cream butter on medium speed until smooth and pale yellow.
  2. Add in confectioner's sugar, one cup at a time, until well combined.
  3. Add milk and mix on medium until mixture is smooth. Add in vanilla pudding or custard powder and peppermint extract. Mix until smooth. Add in chocolate chips and food coloring (if using) and mix until evenly distributed.
  4. Spread middle layer on top of chilled bottom later evenly using a spatula. Place in fridge while preparing last layer.
For the Top Layer:
  1. In a double broiler (or a heatproof bowl over 1" of simmering water in a saucepan) melt butter and chocolate squares until smooth. Remove from heat.
  2. Pour chocolate and butter mixture over top of middle layer and spread with a spatula. Return bars to fridge to cool completely. After cooled, use a sharp knife to cut into small squares.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 small square
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 229Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 108mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 16gProtein: 2g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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25 Comments

  1. Being Canadian, I go to the site where the chocolate is made – Hershey Canada Inc. This is a recipe right on their package of Mint Chocolate Chipits. It is delicious!!! Been making them for a few years now with quite a few compliments….. Just copy and paste to word, or whatever format you are comfortable using 🙂

    Chocolate Chip Nanaimo Bars
    Yield: approx. 20 bars

    Ingredients:
    Base:

    1 c Chipits Semi-Sweet Mint Chocolate Chips
    ½ c butter
    1 ¼ c graham wafer crumbs
    1 c flaked coconut
    ½ c finely chopped walnuts or pecans

    Filling:

    2 c icing sugar
    ¼ c butter (softened)
    3 tbsp milk
    2 tbsp custard powder
    1 tsp mint extract
    Several drops of green food colouring

    Mint Chocolate Glaze:

    ¾ c Chipits Semi-Sweet Mint Chocolate Chips
    2 tsp vegetable oil

    Instructions:

    1. BASE: In medium saucepan over low heat (or in large bowl in microwave), melt mint chipits and butter. Stir in graham wafer crumbs, coconut and nuts. Press evenly into 9’ square pan. Chill in refrigerator for about 30 mins.

    2. FILLING: In small bowl, blend icing sugar, butter, milk, custard powder, mint extract and food colouring. Spread evenly over chilled base.

    3. GLAZE: Melt mint chipits with vegetable oil over hot water (or in microwave). Spread evenly over filling. Chill. Cut into bars.

  2. hi there! i’m going to be making these and i am pretty sure i am right but 1 stick of butter is 1/2 a cup of butter for us canadian measurers?