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Close up view of a plate of 3 layered bars. The bottom layer looks like a brownie, the middle is a thick pink buttercream with bits of cherry visible, and the top is a smooth chocolate ganache.
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5 from 1 vote

Maraschino Cherry Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars can be made in many different flavours, but this Maraschino Cherry Nanaimo Bar has always been one of my favourites!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Chilling Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Canadian
Servings: 20 1 8 x 8" Pan
Calories: 381kcal
Author: Marie Porter


8 inch square glass dish


Bottom Layer:

  • ½ cup Butter unsalted
  • ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 6 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Large Egg beaten
  • 1 ¼ cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • ½ cup Finely Chopped Almonds
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

Middle Layer:

  • ½-1 cup Maraschino Cherries Drained
  • ½ cup Butter
  • 3 tablespoon Maraschino Cherry Syrup
  • 3 tablespoon Cook-and-Serve Vanilla Pudding Powder NOT instant!*
  • 3 cups+ Confectioners / Icing / Powdered Sugar
  • Red or pink food coloring optional

Top layer:

  • 6 oz Semi Sweet Baking Chocolate Squares
  • 3 tablespoon Butter


  • Melt butter in small saucepan. Add sugar and cocoa powder, mix well. Add egg, stir well. Egg will cook and thicken.
  • Once thickened, remove from heat and pour into a larger bowl containing the last 3 bottom ingredients. Mix well and press firmly and evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 8 x 8 pan. Set aside.
  • Drain and finely chop the cherries, reserving 3 tablespoon of the syrup.
  • Cream Butter. Add cherry syrup and pudding powder, mix until well combined. Add cherries, stirring until once again well combined.
  • Slowly and carefully add confectioner’s sugar to cherry mixture. Mixture should be VERY thick – add a little extra confectioner’s sugar if needed. Use a few drops of food coloring to boost tyhe pink color, if desired. Spread evenly over bottom layer.
  • Melt butter and chocolate over low heat. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly, then pour over middle layer. Chill in fridge before slicing into bars.


* Vanilla pudding powder is the closest ingredient to “custard powder”, which is what you’d use if you’re in Canada or the UK.


Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 139mg | Potassium: 156mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 351IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg