Grown-up Vegan Nanaimo Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe was reprinted with permissions from World Vegan Feast: 200 Fabulous Recipes from Over 50 Countries by Bryanna Clark Grogan.
Serves: 30 squares
Ganache Topping
To make the Base
  1. Process the water and flax seed in a blender until it is thick and foamy.
  2. In a saucepan over low heat, combine the buttery spread, cocoa powder, brown sugar, syrup, and flax seed mixture. Stir until the consistency is thick and custard-like. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, coconut, cocoa nibs, and nuts. Add to the mixture in the saucepan and mix well. Pack the mixture into an greased 9x9-inch pan lined with baking parchment cut to fit.
To make the Filling
  1. Cream together the cream cheese alternative, buttery spread, custard powder, liqueur, and vanilla with a hand mixer. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until creamy. Spread the mixture over the crumb base, and refrigerate until set, at least 30 minutes.
To make the Ganache Topping
  1. Process the chocolate in a dry food processor until finely chopped. Leave the chocolate in the processor.
  2. Whip the milk beverage and tofu together in a blender or with an immersion/stick blender in a deep, narrow container until smooth. This is the vegan cream.
  3. Heat the vegan cream in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until almost to the boiling point. Alternatively, you can cook the cream in a microwave-safe bowl for about 1 minute at 50 % power or until it is very hot, but not boiling. If the mixture curdles, blend it again until smooth.
  4. With the motor running, pour the hot cream into the chocolate in the food processor through the feed tube. Process until smooth. Add the espresso or liqueur and process again briefly.
  5. When the ganache mixture has cooled slightly, but is still pourable, spread it evenly over the chilled filling. Refrigerate until the ganache is solid.
To serve
  1. Score the ganache with a very sharp knife into 30 squares and then cut the squares all the way to the bottom of the pan.
  2. Loosen the squares along the sides of the pan with a table knife. The bars will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Soy-free Option: Omit the tofu and milk beverage in the ganache, but use ½ cup coconut or nut milk dairy-free creamer.
Recipe by Go Dairy Free at