BS' in the Kitchen

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Nanaimo Bar Cupcakes

June 15th, 2011 · 44 Comments · cupcake, Dessert

There are MANY great things to say about Nanaimo Bars: One – they are a delicious, authentic Canadian treat, Two – a beautiful town in BC where I have relatives and Three – my FAVOURITE type of square. Then combine this with a cupcake. Helllllooo hybrid of awesomeness! I’m drooling already, so let’s just get to the recipe.

For the cake base, I modified a Devil Chocolate Cake (originally from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook) and used the following ingredients:


  • 1 1/2 cup silvered almonds
  • 2 cups coconut
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract

Combine your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa) and set aside. Cream your butter until smooth and add your brown and white sugar and cream for three minutes. Add your eggs, beating after each addition. Add in the dry ingredients, alternating between the buttermilk and blend until completely mixed. Using a spatula, fold in the almonds and coconut.

Pour into cupcake liners/tins, and place into a 350°F for 25-30 minutes (until a tooth pick comes out clean). Set aside and let them completely cool until icing.

For the icing, I actually used the middle of the nanaimo bar filling:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 4 tbsp vanilla custard powder
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

After icing these cupcakes using the Wilton 1M tip, toast some coconut and almonds, shave some chocolate and then use those to top the cupcakes.

I hope you enjoy these beautiful little Canadian treats,


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44 Comments so far ↓

  • Tia

    Nanaimo bars are my favourite* oops 🙂

  • Tia

    OH MY GOD how did I never come across/think of nanaimo bar cupcakes before?! Nanaimo bars are and these look amazing! I can’t wait to try them *drool*….

  • Carina

    Carlene – these are AMAZING!

    I just spent all afternoon baking and this was on the top of the list to try. Seconds after I finished icing my sister came home and snatched one up her first words were “wow – this is delicious.” Truly an inspiring idea and easy to execute.

    I have just two notes for others that are going to try this recipe out:
    1. You don’t mention when to add the vanilla – the best time is probably just after the eggs (but I didn’t realize until after so I added at the very end and that still worked)
    2. This makes A LOT of cupcakes… and of course I decided to use the mini cupcake tray so I could take them to work. In total I think I made 78 mini cupcakes and 11 full size so be prepared.

    I can’t wait to take them to work tomorrow and see everyone’s reaction.

    Thanks again!

    • bsinthekitchen

      Hey Carina!!! So glad to hear you like them!

      Thanks for the tips too about the vanilla (which often should be added with the wet ingredients and YES – this recipes makes a lot (made about 42 big cupcakes for me). Definitely let me know how they went over with your co-workers – I made them for my treat of the week club at work and had people fighting over the left overs hahaha.

      Hope you’re doing great! 🙂


  • John

    Hey Guys!

    I am excited about introducing this yummy looking recipe to Australia! One question, what type of coconut did you use? Was it shredded or desiccated coconut?


    • bsinthekitchen

      Hey John!!

      How are you doing? That’s exciting that you’re back in Australia. We used sweetned shredded coconut for this recipe. You’ll have to let us know what the Australians think of this Canadian treat with a twist.

      Hope you’re doing great 🙂


  • Shanon

    I just made Nanaimo bars for the first time a few weeks ago—-heaven! And now in cupcake form? Awesome-thank you!

  • Kevin (Closet Cooking)

    Nanaimo bar cupcakes are a great idea and these ones look amazing!

  • Jenn (Cookies Cupcakes Cardio)

    I love Nanaimo bars!!!! I’m Canadian myself, and can’t wait to try to make these for a special Canada day celebration next week! YUM! Thank you so much.

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