Nanaimo Bars with a Holiday Twist Recipe

nanaimo bars

I love Nanaimo Bars and I was super excited to received a special package from Van Houtte with a Nanaimo Bar recipe and all the ingredients to make my own at home. Their recipe includes their Van Houtte Holiday Blend and Holiday Spice Latte, bringing a creative touch to the traditional recipe.

I had lots of fun making them with my little ones and they are so yummy! The full recipe is below.

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Yield: 16 squares

Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


1. Lightly oil an 8-inch (20 cm) square baking pan and line with plastic wrap.

2. With a fork, mix all dry ingredients for the crust.

Add the butter and coffee. Mix well until a homogenous mixture is obtained.

3. Press the mixture in the bottom of the pan to form a uniform layer. Refrigerate.

4. Using an electric mixer, beat all coffee filling ingredients at medium speed.

5. Pour this mixture over the crust and level with a spoon. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

6. In a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt the chocolate and the butter.

7. Pour the chocolate over the coffee filling.

8. Refrigerate for 1 hour before cutting into 16 squares.


The Van Houtte’s Holiday Blend offers woody, spicy notes and a rich aroma. With a heavenly cinnamon scent, Holiday Spice Latte evokes buttery notes and ends with a subtle hint of vanilla. Both are available for a limited time in stores and online at and would make great stocking stuffers.

Have you tried Nanaimo Bars before? They are so good! Visit, where you’ll find other classic recipes revisited and more info on their coffees.



Win it: One lucky Canadian reader will win a ready-to-cook gift pack, including Van Houtte holiday merchandise and a Keurig coffee maker. Enter to WIN the giveaway via Rafflecopter below. Good Luck friends!

Disclosure: This is a partnered post with Van Houtte. A product sample and/or compensation has been received for this review and all opinions and views on this post are 100% my own.

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Angela V

Founder and Writer at One Smiley Monkey blog
Hi, my name is Angela van Tijn and I live in Vancouver, Canada with my wonderful husband, our two boys and our puppy. I am the founder and primary contributor behind One Smiley Monkey. Welcome to my blog!

236 responses to “Nanaimo Bars with a Holiday Twist Recipe”

  1. I don’t think I can pick a favorite.. I do something different every year. So many goodies to try! But I LOVE Nanaimo Bars. Never made them myself.

  2. Please mine just broke in need of one o bad…..recepie looks delicious

  3. I love so many but one traditional favorite is definitely shorthbread and gingerbread!

  4. Been needing a new Keurig so this is great timing! I love homemade chocolates and shortbread!

  5. Those sound delicious!!

  6. Gingerbread cookies.

  7. I love Nanaimo Bars. I love making them every year. I also like during it in Mint flavour!

  8. Gingerbread cookies are a definite yes!

  9. shortbread cookies is a great one!

  10. i seriously love Nanaimo Bars

  11. The nanaimo bars with the Van Houtte kick would be a hit I think!

  12. i like your Nanaimo Bars

  13. I think my favourite holiday recipe revisited would have to be the “Roasted Vegetables with Coffee, Bourbon, and Maple Syrup Sauce”

  14. My favourite is definitely Shortbread cookies.

  15. The Date Squares with the coffee added sound good. Thinking adding coffee to a Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake I make would be good too!

  16. I love Nanaimo Bars and shortbread cookies.

  17. The shortbread cookies are my favorite!

  18. Definitly the nanaimo bars!

  19. every year I make a Chocolate Cherry square that is the same principle as Nanaimo Bars (3 layers) but the middle is pink with chopped Maraschino cherries.

  20. The Quebec Style Mini Meat Pies look amazing- I would definitely try this recipe revisited!

  21. I would pick the Mini mocha cheesecakes

  22. I like their tiramisu revisit a lot.

  23. Shortbread cookies.. you can make it a million ways!

  24. my favourite classic recipe… probably banana bread.

  25. I like that I can change all somehow but my fav right now is chocolate sugar cookies, in zombie shapes – weird but my family loves them!


  26. My favourite would be my foolproof shortbread

  27. Snowballs Mmmmm

  28. Nanaimo bars!! I have always loved them.

  29. we love to make chewy sugar cookies! yum yum

  30. Shortbread Cookies in the shape of candy canes.

  31. I love the Nanaimo Bars recipe

  32. I usually do triple chocolate to my traditional brownie recipe.

  33. Shortbread (but Scottish) and ginger bread cookies, then there’s all the special cookies like snowflakes and the list goes on and on. 🙂

  34. I love shortbread cookies.

  35. Nanaimo Bar are my fav revisited recipe.

  36. I love nanaimo bars as well! Always a favourite with everyone!

  37. Got to be Nanaimo bars. Everyone says to make sure I make a few batches.

  38. It’s a hard choice but I think my favourite classic recipes revisited has to be the Roasted vegetables with coffee, bourbon, and maple syrup sauce. I am very intrigued by it and it looks delicious.

  39. Shortbread cookies is definitely my favourite classic

  40. Mine is shortbread and chocolate almond shortbread which is tie with Mint Nanaimo bars

  41. Shortbread cookies and Nanaimo Bars are my favorite. Adding different types of nuts or adding coffee changes the recipes up.

  42. Shortbread cookies

  43. My favorite holiday recipes are ginger snaps and eggnog 🙂

  44. Traditional shortbread cookies. I make them every year and they don’t last long in my house!

  45. I love shortbreads, they remind me of Christmas!

  46. Classic fudge reminds me of Christmas growing up.

  47. short bread cookies, gingerbread cookies and trifle

  48. Fruitcake!

  49. My holiday classic revisited recipe is cranberry loaf

  50. Cherry balls are my favorite!

  51. Cake recipes that’s been in my family for generations.

  52. I like to make fruitcakes.

  53. Making gingerbread cookies and candies with girls

  54. Nanaimo Bars are definitely a favorite of mine and the Van Houtte date squares also look delish!

  55. My prime rib recipe is my favorite classic holiday recipe! I got it from my mom and we all look forward to it every year!

  56. i love making banana bread

  57. Peanut Butter cookies and coconut cookies are my revisited recipes.

  58. quick coffee in whatever flavor you want and something different for the next person

  59. Nanaimo Bars would be my choice since I love them and it is fun to mix it up

  60. my favourite is my Gumdrop cake

  61. We normally just stick with shortbread cookies but always looking to try new stuff

  62. My classic shortbread cookie recipe cut into festive shapes! Thank you 🙂

  63. My favourite classic cookies are shortbreads

  64. I’d have to say my favorite is the nanaimo bars recipe

  65. My favorite would have to be shortbread cookies. We love to decorate them in place of sugar cookies

  66. Shortbread and gingersnaps!!

  67. Always have to make butterscotch peanut butter squares and crewy gingersnaps. Yumm!

  68. Shortbread cookies and egg nog are my favorite

  69. Traditional dishes but Vegan, such roast and cake log!

  70. My favourite holiday classic is fruit cake..but it must be done by my aunt..oh my goodness it’s amazing

  71. Nanimo Bars would be my favorite, huge family favorite!

  72. Nanimo Bars are my favourite, so I will choose those.

  73. Tiramasu

  74. My favourite recipe is the Nanaimo Bars.

  75. Their recipe for the Mini mocha cheesecakes is my favourite classic revisited!

  76. Shortbread cookies

  77. Shortbread cookies! Yum

  78. butter tarts

  79. Sugar cookies! Always a hit, and a fave of mine.

  80. Definitely the Nanaimo bars! One of our favourites.

  81. My favourite holiday classic revisited recipe is shortbread.

  82. Ohhhh- the nanaimo bars for the win!

  83. My favourite is shortbread

  84. shortbread cookies and banana bread!

  85. Cheesecake with a coffee chocolate glaze is favorite.

  86. Your little movie of this looked so good. (Instagram I think?) I’m not actually a huge fan of nanimo bars. But I would make these.

    Their Veal Stew with coffee is a revisited recipe that I would love to make. I almost always use coffee in my roast gravy.

  87. I make a no bake cheesecake every year

  88. I love sugar cookies made with cream cheese. Makes them so soft.

  89. i love this idea of the nanimo recipie, i don’t have a specific one I change myself. I love making sugar cookies for the holidays though

  90. Shortbread cookies

  91. Christmas shortbread cookies are my favorite recipe revisited. I love my mom’s recipe.

  92. Mine is either my families Green Been Casserole or my Mother’s Stuffing.

  93. I make Fruitcakes for my self and my grown adult children and my two sisters. I use a recipe from “The Joy of Cooking, ” which I modify somewhat. We all look forward to our fruitcakes. It is the highlight of our Christmas baking.

  94. Norwegian Lace Cookies – so good!

  95. Nanaimo bars for sure

  96. We love Nanaimo bars in our home. The ones you featured have an added feature and coffee lovers will absolutely love it. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  97. Gingerbread cookies.

  98. My holiday classic revisited recipe is banana bread.

  99. Our holiday classics are shortbread cookies, gingerbread cookies and always Nanaimo bars for my husband!!

  100. I love gingerbread cookies!

  101. I like gingerbread cookies!

  102. I like gingerbread cookies!

  103. of all the recipes, the nanaimo bars strike a chord. thanks

  104. for us its SUGAR COOKIES …I prob would eat them all by myself if given the chance

  105. Anything that has to do with shortbread is my favourite!

    Besos Sarah
    Journeys of The Zoo

  106. My favourite is cranberry white chocolate cookies!

  107. I like wheat fruit cakes

  108. Adding a bit of Baileys to brownies

  109. gingerbread cookies

  110. For me it is the Nanaimo bar for sure!! Yummy!!

  111. Gingerbread men

  112. My favorite revisited recipe would be gingerbread chocolate cookies! Yum!

  113. I love nanaimo bars! And I love this twist to it. My favourite recipe revisited would have to be chocolate cookies. Add booze, more chocolate, coconut, anything! 🙂

  114. My favourite recipe would be shortbread cookies with crushed peppermint candy canes mixed into it .

  115. Would have to be gingerbread cookies!

  116. cranberry muffins

  117. Nanaimo Bars

  118. Shortbread is always a favorite holiday treat.

  119. gingerbread cookies

  120. Big soft buttermilk sugar cookies are my favorite, but those nanaminos sound really tastey

  121. MY fav recipe for dessert for Christmas is Polish Kolache But on Van Houtte… OH man I want to try these Nanaimo Bars! Come on! they are a MUST make for me. Sounds oh so good

  122. I make homemade Almond Roca – almost as good as the original kind ;p

  123. Shortbread

  124. Sweet Potatoes with tiny marshmellows

  125. I love molasses cookies and shortbread, so good and so many ways you can remake them.

  126. mince pies!

  127. My favorite thing is gingerbread cookies.

  128. Shortbread with spelt flour!

  129. I love rum balls at Christmas

  130. Cafe mocha cheesecake!

  131. I would have to choose the Nanaimo bars as they are a favorite of mine!

  132. Cherry snowballs!

  133. gingerbread are my favorite

  134. I would pick the Mini mocha cheesecakes

  135. i think my favourite holiday recipe revisited would have to be cornbread with cashews and cranberries stuffing.

  136. My favourite is mom’s home made bread. Try as I may mine never quite seems to turn out like hers did though.

  137. Christmas chutney sounds good!

  138. The cranberry chutney sounds yummy!

  139. The Mini Mocha Cheesecake

  140. Shortbread cookies – mmm!

  141. My molasses cookies are a must every year!

  142. Nanaimo Bars for me!!!

  143. My husband loves date squares so thats the one I’d love to do.

  144. It’s got to be German gingerbread!

  145. Since I’m from Vancouver Island, I have to go with the Nanaimo bars!

  146. I like your Nanaimo Bars

  147. i always make date square

  148. I’m not sure about favorite but those Nanaimo bars look and sound AMAZING and I can’t wait to try them out for myself!! <3 also thank you for the change to win such a great prize! <3

  149. I love nanaimo bars

  150. My fave recipe with a twist is magic bars but using peanut butter and chocolate chips mixed together.

  151. Nanaimo Bars & Shortbread Cookies 😉

  152. It has to be Gingerbread!

  153. Nano bars and I don’t know what they are called but it has marshmallows and chocolate

  154. Wow these Nanaimo Bars are definitely on my ‘must-make’ list. Love this blog and the name always makes me smile when I visit. 🙂 My favourite holiday classic revisited recipe would have to be homemade soup, using the easy tips found in your wonderful blog and shortbread cookies with a big steaming cup of Van Houtte’s Holiday Blend coffee. I just noticed it is only available for a limited time so will have to stock up if I win this coffee maker! Happy holidays everyone!

  155. I like any variation of shortbread.

  156. Love Crunch “Yum” Balls

  157. Nanaimo bars been years. Remember those always being around at xmas when I was a child.

  158. i would have to say shortbread and christmas cake

  159. I love some classic chocolate chip cookies!

  160. My favourite are homemade Gingerbread cookies or ginger snaps.

  161. The nanaimo bars would be awesome with a holiday twist of coffee!

  162. My favourite holiday register recipe is the Nanaimo bars. The Nanaimo bars are always a crowd pleaser so kicking them up a notch with coffee sounds like a fabulous idea.

  163. The nanaimo bars -yum!! I love those babies!

  164. My favourite holiday recipe revisited is chocolate crinkle cookies.

  165. Shortbread cookies are definitely a holiday fave of mine.

  166. winit

  167. Bars look great and I will enjoy them over the Holidays.

  168. The mocha white chocolate and almonds cookies look so good!

  169. Nanaimo bars I make every year for our daughter.

  170. Gingersnaps

  171. shortbread cookies/ sugar cookies

  172. I have to make the Tiramisu yule log!

  173. my whipped shortbread cookies

  174. hmmm that’s a tough question … i guess mint nanaimo bars with candycane on top!!

  175. love the nanaimo bars

  176. Freezer Cheesecake. The boys absolutely love it.

  177. I love peanut butter blossoms.

  178. Good ol’ fashion ginger bread

  179. Definitely love those Nanaimo bars.

  180. My kids always like my fudge but none of that fancy stuff just plain chocolate.

  181. Butter tarts with a bit of rum in the filling.

  182. shortbread cookies

  183. Sand Tarts!

  184. Marshmallow peanut butter squares

  185. guinger bread

  186. Sugar cookies are perfect for Christmas.

  187. magic bars.

  188. Pecan Pie!

  189. Hi, after reading this awesome post i am also glad to share my familiarity here with friends.

  190. Excellent way of explaining, and nice article to obtain facts regarding my presentation subject matter, which i am going to deliver
    in college.

  191. shortbread cookies

  192. Shortbread cookies for sure

  193. Our favorite traditional cookie is bog soft chewy ginger cookies!

  194. Gingerbread cookies

  195. After I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked
    on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I recieve four emails with
    the same comment. Perhaps there is a way you can remove me from that service?

  196. We make butter tarts every year!

  197. I love to make soft and chewy cut out sugar cookies, I love decorating them with them family. 🙂

  198. Gingerbread cookies for sure

  199. I make a vegan version of my classic gingerbread cookies.

  200. sugar cookies

  201. shortbread,

  202. ginger cookies with chucks of ginger

  203. My favourite is definitely the nanaimo bars.

  204. Every Year I make my classic sugar frosted cookies! Creates a mess but taste so good!

  205. Butter Tarts for sure!

  206. gingerbread cookies for us! thanks so much for the chances to win.

  207. The Nanaimo bars sound to die for!

  208. Nanaimo bars look amazing!

  209. My family loves sugar cookies.

  210. Definitely Chocolate Lasagna (or better known as “Death by Chocolate” named such by Loving Dad lol)

  211. Butter Tarts for us 🙂

  212. Nanaimo bars are my favorite for dessert. I also like the BRAISED BEEF WITH TOMATOES for main course


  214. Thank you for this lovely recipe will for sure be making these

  215. I love nanaimo bars and the new twist on this recipe has me excited to try them.Thanks so much for this post.

  216. Do you know, I have never had a Nanaimo bar! I know seems incredible but I doubt I’d like it any way, lol

  217. Such an interesting twist on one my of favourite sweets! Definitely going to give these a try

  218. Love Nanaimo Bars and these I must say are different from what I make. This recipe sounds interesting.

  219. a definite ‘must-try’ for the upcoming holidays. thx

  220. Nanaimo Bars are one of my favourites. This is a definite must try for the Holidays.

  221. perfect for the holidays!

  222. I think these sound yummy, not sure how my daughter woudl take to them though

  223. Nanaimo Bars are a holiday staple in our family. I have never made because it is our Aunt who usually supplies us all 🙂 I will have to tell her about this “twist” I have a confession. I really only love the coconut crust part of the Nanaimo Bar. The rest is too sweet for me but the crust… I have no will power 🙂

  224. Nanaimo bars are one of my favorites. They are the perfect sweet treat. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I will be sure to try it.

  225. Nanaimo Bars are such a decadent treat. They are one of my favorites.

  226. I have never made or even tried a nanaimo bar before, one of these days I might try one, they just look so very sweet!!

  227. OMG I love Nanaimo Bars!

  228. These are so yummy! I may have to add this recipe to my Christmas baking list.

  229. My kids love butter tarts and short bread cookies.

  230. My husband loves these I find them a little to sweet for me but I make them for everyone else.

  231. These Nanaimo bars look delicious!

  232. Our favourite is gooey butter tarts with chocolate chips, yum!!

  233. I love Nanaimo bars. Love the look of this recipe and will be making it this holiday season.

  234. Yum! Nanaimo bars are a go to here, especially around the holidays. Pinning this for later.

  235. I am attempting thes for my first time this year. My husband has never tried one and I just cant let that continue. Such a decadent and delicious treat.

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