Peppermint Nanaimo Bars (Raw, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free, No-Bake)

By contributor Megan Stulberg

Nanaimo bars are a Canadian dessert that I grew up devouring by the slab! Traditionally these treats consist of a cake-crumb base, a buttercream custard filling, and a melted milk chocolate topping.

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For the base…

  • 1 cup dates, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup natural liquid sweetener of your choice (I used agave)
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao nibs

For the filling…

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1-2 tbsp pure peppermint extract (optional – can substitute for another flavour or omit entirely)

For the topping….

  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup natural liquid sweetener of your choice (I used agave)


  1. In a high-speed blender/food processor combine dates, almonds, coconut, cacao, sweetener and nibs until thoroughly incorporated.
  2. Line a square baking pan with plastic wrap tightly that covers the bottom, sides and over the edges. Pour crust mixture into pan and press down with a fork to pack an even layer. Set aside.
  3. Blend together cashews, oil, coconut and peppermint extract into a cream. Pour on top of crust and spread out evenly.
  4. Blend together cacao, oil and sweetener until fluid in consistency. Pour on top of cream evenly.
  5. Place pan in freezer for 30 minutes to semi-set. Remove from pan by holding onto the plastic wrap edges and pulling upwards.
  6. Using a large knife, slice into 9 rectangular pieces. Place bars on a plate and keep in freezer for at least 3 more hours to set.

Bars should be kept frozen. Remove from freezer 30 minutes before serving.

Makes approximately 9 bars.