3-Layer Nabino Bars Dessert Recipe

I’m a sucker for all kinds of desserts. But give me a treat that can be tailored for the holidays, and it is a whole new level of fetching! While Lori and I were planning (what was supposed to be) a quick cooking day for the blog, my eyes caught sight of these Nabino bars from Bronner’s Flavorful Favorites cookbook, first edition, which are a delicious spin off of Nanaimo Bars. Of course she couldn’t turn me down when I proposed we add them to our list for a spring treat! They had me at hello the headline before I could even get to all the delightful ingredients. You, too?! (I mean look at them, how can they not?!) We’re sharing our Nabino Bars recipe and all the tasty details. Plus, a few dynamic ideas to enjoy them with festive flair and fun for Valentine’s, St. Pat’s and Easter!

Nabino Bars

These Nabino Bars Are All About The Layers

3-layer Nabino Bars Stacked

It’s a given that a dessert is made by the ingredients.🥁 I mean made as in “make it or break it,” not made as in “to make from.” So it is no wonder that these 3-layer bars were even more sumptuous than I could have dreamed when I discovered the recipe!

I’d never heard of Nanaimo Bars prior to discovering this tempting recipe! Apparently Nanaimo dessert bars are named after the Canadian city in British Columbia. These Nabino bars hail close, both in appearance and flavor!

Close your eyes and imagine with me for a moment please. You’re sinking your teeth into a delectably smooth chocolate ganache, followed by a soft creamy center! Now you’re getting to the Crème de la crème! A flavor-packed crust, that by it’s ingredient list would seem complex. Yet when you taste it, the flavors seamlessly blend into something almost otherworldly.

Trust me when I say that once you really do try them, without a doubt you’ll wonder where these Nabino bars have been all your life!😂 So let’s fix that and get you the recipe! (But before we do, we want to remind you to be sure to check out the end of this post. We’re sharing ideas to transform these Nabino Bars into a show-stopping treat for the next office potluck on Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day or Easter!)

Nabino Bars Recipe Image

Nabino Bars

Norma Palmreuter
An irresistible combination of ingredients layered into the most delicious, 3-layer dessert bar!
Course Dessert



  • ½ cup Margarine or Butter room temperature
  • ¼ cup White Sugar
  • 5 tbsp Cocoa
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1 cup Coconut fine or angel flake
  • ½ cup Nuts chopped


  • 2 tbsp Instant Pudding vanilla
  • ¼ cup Margarine or Butter room temperature
  • 3 tbsp Milk
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar


  • 6 oz Chocolate Chips
  • 3-5 tbsp Margarine or Butter room temperature



  • Combine ½ cup softened margarine or butter, white sugar, cocoa, vanilla and egg in top of a double boiler. Stir over medium heat until thickened.
  • In a bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, coconut and nuts. Next, add in the cooked mixture.
  • Press into a parchment-lined 9×13-inch pan and chill.


  • Beat the vanilla pudding, ¼ cup softened margarine or butter, milk and powdered sugar with an electric mixer.
  • Spread over the chilled crust and refrigerate.


  • In a heat-proof bowl or double boiler, melt the chocolate chips with the 3-5 tbsp of softened margarine or butter.
  • Once slightly thickened, pour over the bars and chill briefly, approximately 5 minutes or less*. Remove the parchment from the pan and slice into bars. (If the bars chill too long rendering the topping hard, the chocolate will crack.)


Instant Pudding – Try different flavors for a tasty twist! We used banana pudding for a bright touch. For a LOVE-ly option for Valentine’s Day, drain and finely chop a dozen maraschino cherries. Blend them gently into prepared coconut pudding. The cherries will color the pudding a pretty pink and complement the coconut flavor. To say nothing of pistachio pudding for a delicious alternative for a festive St. Patrick’s Day dessert! 
Keyword Bars, Dessert, dessert bars
Nabino Bars Plated With Napkin

Nabino Bars Flavorful Variations For Festive Flair

If you happened to catch Lori’s and my candid chat over Bronner’s virtual cookie exchange + giveaway, you’ll hear just a hint about what our baking days are really like behind-the-scenes😂. SPOILER ALERT – there are lots of bloopers! And this recipe was no exception!

While Lori and I were planning our recipes out and making a shopping list for the ingredients we would need, I somehow inadvertently missed the Nabino Bar recipe! As a result, we found ourselves staring at each other in the kitchen, not willing to accept defeat! Lori rallied and got me everything I needed to make these dreamy dessert bars a reality! With one exception

Norma’s Nabino Bars recipe calls for vanilla-flavored instant pudding which we did not have on hand. Our choices were banana or pistachio. So we chose the banana to keep the photos of these delightful Nabino Bars more true in color to the original recipe.

Consequently, it was at first bite when my mind exploded with all the potential this delicious dessert holds! Immediately I wished we’d gone bold with the pistachio pudding. (We were also prepping recipes for St. Patrick’s Day after all!)

But my mind didn’t stop there …. vanilla pudding naturally colored from beet root powder makes a deep pink hue for Valentine’s day! We cut out heart shapes and added chopped, dried starwberries on top with a dark chocolate drizzle for a decadent touch!

Furthermore, lemon- or orange-flavored pudding would add a bright flavor for spring and Easter! Consider adding flavored extracts to the chocolate topping for an extra punch of flavor.

For St. Patrick’s Day? Why not add Matcha powder to vanilla pudding or try pistachio?!

Matcha Green Nabino Bars For St. Patrick's With Pot Of Gold

No matter what flavors you try, these bars are a win!

And for presentation? COOKIE CUTTERS! Cut out fun shapes for the holidays to turn these notable bars into a sure show stopper! Think hearts for Valentine’s Day, shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day or even an egg for an EGG-citing Easter treat!

Bronner’s Flavorful Favorites Cookbooks

Find this delightful dessert and 400+ more recipes in each edition of Bronner’s exclusive cookbooks! Spanning all sorts of categories, “Bronner’s Flavorful Favorites” feature tried and true recipes from our families to yours.

Let’s “bake” the world a better place, together!

4 thoughts on “3-Layer Nabino Bars Dessert Recipe

  • February 3, 2023 at 10:10 am

    Hi! Love your company! I enjoyed seeing the recipe for Nabino bars. Quick question…for the 2 tbsp Instant Pudding vanilla in the filling, is that prepared pudding or the dry pudding mix? Thanks!

  • February 3, 2023 at 5:43 am

    After cutting the bars, are they stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container? What is the shelf life? They sound delicious!

    • February 7, 2023 at 2:06 pm

      Yes. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should be good for about a week, but I don’t think they’ll last that long. Enjoy!


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