Nanaimo Bar Ice Cream Cake

Print Print Without Images

This classic Canadian bar has been updated into the ideal summer dessert to celebrate our nation’s birthday. The chewy crust, creamy ice-cream and ganache topping are a perfect combination of flavours to end a summer backyard BBQ.

You’ll want to make this cake at least a day before you plan to serve it, as the ice cream needs to harden in the freezer for at least 12 hours before serving.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.


3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup finely chopped walnut
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted to remove lumps
1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup butter melted
2 tablespoons custard powder (such as Bird’s Traditional)
4 cups French vanilla ice cream softened
55 grams semisweet chocolate (about 2 oz) chopped or ⅓ cups chocolate chips
1/4 cup whipping cream


In bowl, stir together graham crumbs, coconut, walnuts, cocoa powder and sugar. Drizzle with butter and stir until combined. Press into bottom and up side of 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Allow ice-cream to soften on counter for 15 minutes. Fold custard powder into ice cream; spread over crust, smoothing top. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap; freeze until firm, 2 to 3 hours.

In small saucepan, heat chocolate and cream over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes. Spread over top of pie; freeze until firm, about 20 minutes.
Once firm, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 12 hours in advance of serving to allow the ice-cream to harden.  
Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Run the blade under hot water, drying on a towel to assist cutting through the ice cream into neat slices.