Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Nanaimo Bars.

  So, much like I believe in slow food....

1a Pumpkin Nanaimo Bar by sixtyone45
1a Pumpkin Nanaimo Bar by sixtyone45

...I believe in slow blogging. Reallllly slow blogging apparently. Yikes. It's hard to believe (for me at least) that I haven't made the time to write here since LAST YEAR. Sounds way worse that it is, but it's still the truth. I have cooked. I have baked. I have even picture-taked. And still not much has made it here... and by not much I mean nothing.

S'okay though. I spoke with my boss.

Pumpkin Nanaimo Bars by sixtyone45
Pumpkin Nanaimo Bars by sixtyone45

She's cool with it.

I used to beat myself up about it but I don't anymore. I sometimes forget sixtyone45 is supposed to be a creative outlet for my own personal development and joy. Its not a quote/unquote job I'm required to be at during the hours I'm not mom-ing. I never "have" to blog. (even though Mr. hears me mutter every day that I do) I could list a dozen excuses reasons I haven't blogged but what does it matter.  I'm here now. The timing is right.

And I promise, its worth the wait.

This little treat is a fond memory of the holiday season.  And I don't even like Nanaimo Bars. Not that this is a Nanaimo bar. Or it kinda is. Sorta.

Pumpkin Nanaimo Bars by sixtyone45
Pumpkin Nanaimo Bars by sixtyone45

It's a fond memory because every year my best friend of THIRTY years (how did THAT happen) and I get together for a marathon Christmas baking session.  You should really meet her.  She is an amazing woman who lights up a room with her presence and whose passion for life will make you want to live your own better. Oh, and she bakes. Sinfully well.

Pumpkin Nanaimo Bars by sixtyone45
Pumpkin Nanaimo Bars by sixtyone45

This treat made it on our ambitious list of baking goodies to attempt that day. Both our hubbies enjoy the classic Nanaimo bar so it usually makes the list. For those unfamiliar, the Nanaimo bar is a Canadian classic. Chocolatey graham coconut crust, custard centre, chocolate top. Not much to dislike here right?  I'm just not a fan. (I think that may make me only partially Canadian now.) This year I thought we could try a kicked up version by throwing some pumpkin in there.  It took the edge off what I find to be usually an overly sweet square.  We toned down the sugar in all the elements actually.  Made it a warmer, spicier bite.  They turned out really well.

Pumpkin Nanaimo Bars by sixtyone45
Pumpkin Nanaimo Bars by sixtyone45

They also turned out to no longer be considered Nanaimo Bars according to Mr. But that's a debate conversation we will have offline.

I debated sharing it now - everyone is cutting out sugar, cleansing, detoxing, etc...but I find that it's sometimes nice to come across "out of season" delights you can save (translation: Pin) now, and tuck away on your Thanksgiving board, Christmas board, Visiting-a-Canadian-Friend board etc and pull out when you are ready...

Pumpkin Nanaimo Bars by sixtyone45
Pumpkin Nanaimo Bars by sixtyone45

..like next week when all this resolution stuff is over.


Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Nanaimo Bars.

Author: Food Well Said


  • Bottom:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
  • Middle:
  • 1 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • 2 Tbsp custard powder
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • Top:
  • 6 ounces of dark chocolate squares
  • 4 Tablespoons butter


  1. Bottom layer: In a small saucepan, melt the butter, cocoa & sugar, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add the beaten egg, graham crumbs & coconut and stir until well combined. Press into an ungreased 9×9 square pan. Put in the fridge to cool for 60 minutes
  3. Middle layer: In a medium size bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together all of the ingredients. Spread on top of the bottom layer and chill.
  4. Top layer: Using a double broiler, melt the chocolate and butter together until smooth and shiny. Pour over the custard layer and refrigerate overnight.


Use a very sharp knife to cut your squares for clean edges.[br]Play around with the ratios of crust, to custard to chocolate. Sometimes a a thinner crust, and then two more equal parts of chocolate and custard are nice.[br]You can substitute instant vanilla pudding powder for the custard (I’m not a fan of the processed stuff) or simply use cornstarch and add vanilla to the butter.