Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars

Easy nanaimo bars;  This recipe for easy nanaimo bars uses pumpkin spice pudding for a fall flavor profile.

pumpkin-spice-nanaimo-barsTrue story: This was my first time making Nanaimo Bars.  And it was the first time my family had even heard of them.

Me: I think I’m going to make Nanaimo Bars.
Robb: What?
Me:  Nanaimo Bars.
Robb: {pause}  Mah-what?

I explained to him all about the no-bake layered goodness, the chocolate, the coconut, the cream filling.  He just looked at me suspiciously.  Robb has no imagination for food.

Then I explained all about the Canadian origins, and about the first place I ever heard of them.  Which, strangely enough, was in one of my favorite movies, A Mighty Wind.  (See a trailer for the show here)  Then I did my best North Dakota / Canadian border accent, which netted me one genuine compliment from Robb.  {It’s one of the few accents I can pull off.}

Robb: What are they called again?  Mah-mine-ah?

Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars from Jen's Favorite Cookies

Let’s not forget that it is now November.  I have no idea where this year went, and I can’t decide whether I’m happy or sad to have it behind me.  But that is beside the point.  The point is, it’s fall, and I needed some fall flavors in these bars.

Enter Pumpkin Spice Pudding Mix.  If you can find it {you’ll probably only see it at Walmart} you should grab a couple boxes.  It’s nice to have some kind of special fall-flavored baked goods around this time of year.

Or, to be more precise, no-baked goods.  Whatever.

easy nanaimo barspumpkin-spice-nanaimo

Now that we’ve experienced Nanaimo Bar goodness, we’re going to have trouble forgetting it.  Perhaps I’ll tell the kids that if they can pronounce it, they can have a bar.  (cue evil laugh)

Mah-nee-nee?  Na-mine-ah? Mo-nah-nee-nah?

More pumpkin spice goodness for you to enjoy:

pumpkin krispiesPumpkin Spice
Krispie Treats
pumpkin-fudge-cookie-bars-6Pumpkin Fudge
Cookie Bars
pumpkin oat cookiesPumpkin No-Bake


Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars
Traditional no-bake nanaimo bars with a pumpkin spice twist.
Recipe type: No-Bake Desserts
Serves: 9
  • ½ cup butter
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup finely chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 box pumpkin spice pudding mix (3.4 oz)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1¼ cups powdered sugar
  • 4-5 oz. chocolate (or ¾ cup chocolate chips)
  • 1 T. butter
  1. FOR CRUST: Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add cocoa and sugar, and quickly stir to combine.
  2. Add egg before mixture becomes too hot, and mix well. Continue cooking and stirring another minute or so to let mixture thicken. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in cracker crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9x9 pan, and let chill while you make the filling.
  4. FOR FILLING: Soften butter, and combine with pudding, milk and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth. Spread evenly over crust layer.
  5. FOR TOPPING: Melt chocolate and butter together in the microwave, in 30-second intervals, stirring between each. Quickly pour over other layers, and smooth with a knife.
  6. Let bars chill for at least 1 hour before cutting into 9 large or 16 small bars. Keep in refrigerator, and serve chilled.

12 thoughts on “Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars

  1. Suzette

    These look amazing and I’d love to make them but, I must confess, my family is not a fan of coconut. Is it possible to make these without the coconut?

  2. Suzette

    I know, Jen!! I only like coconut when it’s been toasted but I try to sneak in coconut oil wherever I can for the health benefits it provides. Thanks so much for the other recipe!! I’m going to try making yours first without the coconut….hopefully sometime soon. I’ll let you know how they turn out. :))

  3. Shelly

    I am pregnant and can’t eat anything with uncooked eggs. Are these okay? It’s hard to tell if the egg is being cooked or not.

    1. Jen Post author

      Shelly, it is kind of hard to tell. The egg certainly does cook some, but whether it is fully cooked, it is hard to say. If you are worried about it, I would definitely err on the side of caution and wait until the little one arrives. Congratulations and best wishes!

    2. Krista

      I made these from the original recipe and forgot the egg in the crust. There was no discernible difference to me, or to anyone else who made them! They’re there for the binding together of the ingredients. I would try a little extra butter if the crust is dry. 🙂

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  5. E

    So the pudding… stupid question, but is it supposed to be made before or do you use it in powder form? Most recipes that call for pudding use it as a dry ingredient so I made it that way but it seems a little runny. Will it thicken in the fridge or do I have to start over?

    1. Jen Post author

      Oh, thanks for pointing that out! I have updated the recipe to indicate that it is the dry mix we are using, and not prepared pudding. I’m sorry that wasn’t more clear!

  6. Rachel

    I couldn’t find pumpkin pudding mix in my store so I got vanilla pudding mix and pumpkin pie spice to mix together. Have you ever done that instead, and if so, is there an amount of spice that you recommend?

    1. Jen Post author

      Rachel, I haven’t done that, but it’s not a bad idea. I would probably start with 1/2 teaspoon, then sample it to see if it needs more. I hate that the pumpkin spice pudding is so hard to find! I usually only find it at Walmart during October. (My regular grocery store never carries it!) You can use any flavor you want, though. I’ve made these with lemon pudding, and they were divine! I think butterscotch would work nicely, too, and give kind of a seasonal flavor. Good luck! Let me know how it goes!

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