Vegan Gluten Free Nanaimo Bar

3 min

The Paleo Penguin

Nanaimo bar was always one of my favourite treats as a kid. My mum always thought I was weird because I liked to pick off the top layer of chocolate. It wasn’t to eat it separately, it was to throw it out. I thought it was too chocolatey with it. I still haven’t outgrown this habit and now I make the bar without the top layer.

I am allergic to 90% of nuts so I chose to keep pecans in this recipe as that is one of the nuts I can eat. I also kept it gluten free and vegan. Technically, there isn’t anything in this I can’t eat. Took me a few tries to get it the right consistency and I still tweak it each time I make it.

I was inspired when I was at a Christmas party a little while ago and someone brought a whole tray of the store bought stuff. Something I definitely couldn’t eat. I hope you like this as much as I do!

The Paleo Penguin

Vegan Gluten Free Nanaimo bar

This yummy treat is gluten free, eggfree, wheat free, soy free, dairy free, and vegan. It makes only a small batch. I did this on purpose so I don't eat it all. If you want to make it for a group of people, you will want to double the recipe. Please note I do put pecans in this so it isn't nut free.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 tbsp Cocoa powder (Bottom layer)
  • 2 tbsp Vegan butter (Bottom layer)
  • 1 tsp Coconut oil (Bottom layer)
  • 2 tbsp Sugar (Bottom layer)
  • 2 tbsp Apple sauce (Bottom layer)
  • 3/4 cup Shredded coconut (Bottom layer)
  • 1/2 cup Pecans chopped (Bottom layer)
  • 1/2 cup Oat flour (Bottom layer)
  • 1 tbsp Coconut oil (Middle layer)
  • 1/2 cup Vegan butter (Middle layer)
  • 2 tbsp Custard powder (Middle layer)
  • 3/4 cup Icing sugar (Middle layer)
  • 1 cup Vegan chocolate chips (Top layer)
  • 1 tbsp Coconut oil (Top layer)


  • Start with the bottom layer. Add the cocoa, butter and coconut oil and microwave about 45 seconds depending on the microwave. Stop half way and stir. Once melted, stir in sugar and apple sauce until smooth.
    The Paleo Penguin
  • If you don't have oat flour, puree regular oats in a food processor until you have a flour like consistency. Add oat flour, shredded coconut, and chopped pecans. Stir together until completely blended.
    The Paleo Penguin
  • Line a pan with parchment paper. Spread and press chocolate mixture into the pan until it is smooth. Put in the freezer for 10 minutes while you work on the other layers.
    The Paleo Penguin
  • In a new bowl, add slightly melted coconut oil, butter, custard powder and icing sugar. Whip together until smooth. If you use vegan butter like Becel, it is a little soft. If you can, buy the sticks of butter and whip them as they harden better. If you use the Becel butter, the icing later is a little soft when you are slicing it up. Remove pan from the freezer and spread the icing on the top so you have an even layer.
    The Paleo Penguin
  • If you are like me, you will stop here and not add the top chocolate layer. If not, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil ijn the microwave. Make sure the mixture is smooth and not too hot when you spread it on top of the icing or you will melt it. I let it cool off for about 5 or 10 mintues before I add it on top.
    The Paleo Penguin
  • Once you have all layers assembled, I usually put the bar in the freezer for about an hour for everything to cool and settle. After that, I keep it in the fridge until it is all gone, which isn't very long!
Keyword Dairyfree, Eggfree, Glutenfree, Paleo, Soyfree, Vegan, Vegetarian

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Erin Chapman

Erin is the owner and creator of The Paleo Penguin. She has multiple food allergies and cannot eat eggs, beans, most nuts, dairy, wheat or gluten. If you are looking for recipes with those ingredients, keep scrolling as you won't find it here.


  1. I have actually purchased this custard powder at our regular grocery store. You can also find it online too on Amazon. I am not sure where you live, but I have found it in England as well. If you can’t find this brand, I am sure there are other custard powders available. šŸ™‚ Good luck!

  2. Iā€™d love to make this! What is custard powder? Where would I get it? Is there a brand that I should look into? Thanks for posting!

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