Lemon Creme Nanaimo Bars

Lemon Creme Nanaimo Bars - these no-bake bars will knock your socks off!

This is the ultimate nanaimo bar recipe!  The lemon filling gives such a nice fresh flavor to these nanaimo cookie bars.

I recently attended a surprise party for a dear friend who was turning 40.  She is a well-loved person, and lots of friends and family members were there to celebrate with her.

When her husband asked each person to bring a food item to share, I immediately thought of these Nanaimo Bars.

That’s because, in the first place, these bars are one of my favorite things EVER.  They are an angelic pan of chocolate and coconut no-bake goodness.  Straight from heaven, I kid you not.  The Canadians totally got this one right.

Lemon Creme Nanaimo Bars - these no-bake bars will knock your socks off!

I learned just how fantastic they are last fall, when I made a pumpkin spice version of nanaimo bars.  I couldn’t keep myself away from them.

There was a second reason why these bars were the perfect treat for this party, and that’s because my friend absolutely loves chocolate and coconut and lemon.  It was like a trifecta!  Her three favorite flavors in one amazing bar.

She ranted and raved, and posted a link to the recipe on Facebook.  That’s the kind of friend she is.  It’s probably the reason we are still friends after more than 25 years.

Lemon Creme Nanaimo Bars - these no-bake bars will knock your socks off!

Nanaimo Bars are super easy to customize.  The crust is made with graham cracker crumbs, cocoa, coconut, nuts, and butter.  They’re ingredients most people have on hand.  The filling is made with pudding mix.  You could literally choose any flavor of pudding you want, and use it to make the filling.  I obviously used lemon, but I can definitely vouch for the pumpkin spice variety as well.

Once you try these, you’ll be making them customized for every season!

Lemon Creme Nanaimo Bars


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 box lemon pudding mix (3.4 oz)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 4-5 oz. chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon butter, shortening, or coconut oil


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, and add cocoa and sugar. Stir until well combined. Quickly add egg before mixture becomes too hot, stirring quickly to mix egg in well. Continue cooking and stirring for another minute or two, to let the mixture thicken. Remove from heat.
  2. Stir in graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press mixture into a 9x9 pan (ideally pan would be lined with parchment paper) and let chill while you make the filling.
  3. For filling, combine butter, pudding mix, milk, and powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Spread filling over crust layer, and return to refrigerator.
  4. For topping, melt chocolate and butter in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each. Spread chocolate over filling layer, using a knife to spread evenly.
  5. Let bars chill at least 1 hour before serving. Use parchment paper to remove bars from pan, and cut into 9 large or 16 small squares. For best results, serve chilled and store in refrigerator.


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Jen Stott is a wife and mom who seeks to rule the world one dessert recipe at a time. Cat hater, chocolate lover, mess maker and eternal optimist; mother of teenagers, she self-medicates with cookies and captures the highlights on her blog, JensFavoriteCookies.com.

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  1. Oopsie…lost me at cat hater. (Perhaps some information is best kept underwraps).

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