Nanaimo Balls

No Bake Nanaimo Balls are a twist on the classic Canadian dessert recipe, Nanaimo bars. Making this sweet confection, a bite-sized treat in the form of easy coconut balls.

nanaimo balls with a bite taken

No bake nanaimo balls

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The famous Nanaimo Bars are from the city of Nanaimo here in British Columbia. I was in Nanaimo a few years ago, but I never ordered a Nanaimo bar – next time.

I mean, I have to try it from the source right? That would be like going to the Keys and not ordering Key Lime Pie!

No Bake Nanaimo Balls are a twist on the classic Canadian dessert recipe, Nanaimo bars. Making this sweet confection, a bite-sized treat.

Truth be told, I’m not a baker. Aside from buns, I don’t bake often so when we decided to do a dessert ball recipe for the Holiday Entertaining Guide I was stumped.

I opted to do a no-bake one, just to make it easier on myself. I was asked to create a Nanaimo bar recipe for a future post coming your way and I thought that no bake Nanaimo Balls would be an awesome option for today’s post.

No Bake Nanaimo Balls are a twist on the classic Canadian dessert recipe, Nanaimo bars. Making this sweet confection, a bite-sized treat.

You know those days where you start baking and you realize you have no ingredients? That was me today and in true Randa fashion, I refused to go to the store (for the third time this week). So I made do what some substitutions and it turned out great. In place of custard, I used vanilla pudding mix. Another sub that I was really nervous about? I didn’t have cream, so I used the Internation Delight Southern Butter Pecan and omg – so good.

No Bake Nanaimo Balls are a twist on the classic Canadian dessert recipe, Nanaimo bars. Making this sweet confection, a bite-sized treat.

I had a little trouble finishing them.

Some I dipped in chocolate, some I sprinkled the chocolate coconut mixture on top of the melted chocolate.

I don’t know what I like best. They’re both so tasty!

Easy No Bake Christmas Recipes

If you like Nanaimo bars, then you’re going to love this recipe for Nanaimo Balls. Whether you use my substitutions or use the traditional cream and custard powder, these no bake desserts are going to be a hit around the holidays!

TBK’s Pro Tip: The inside is very soft, so don’t forget to freeze them! Once they’re frozen and then dipped in chocolate – you’re good for afterwards 🙂 It’s all in the instructions 🙂

More Coconut Ball Recipes:

Don’t forget to try this twist too: Mocha Nanaimo Bars.

Helpful Supplies for Making Coconut Balls:

No Bake Nanaimo Balls are a twist on the classic Canadian dessert recipe, Nanaimo bars. Making this sweet confection, a bite-sized treat.
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3.58 from 83 votes

Nanaimo Balls

Nanaimo Balls are a twist on the classic Canadian dessert recipe, Nanaimo bars. Making this sweet confection, a bite-sized treat.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Christmas dessert, nanaimo balls, no bake
Prep Time 2 hours
Freeze time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 40 balls
Calories 145kcal


  • 1 cup Graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup sweetened grated coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsps melted butter
  • 2 tbsps cocoa powder


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 tbsps cream
  • 2 tbsps vanilla pudding mix

Chocolate Coating

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter


  • In a large bowl add the graham cracker crumbs, coconut, pecans, melted butter, and cocoa powder. Stir and set aside.
  • In a smaller bowl, mix up the filling ingredients.
  • Take the filling, roll in a ball that’s about 3/4″. Sprinkle the chocolate coconut mixture on top and roll until the filling is surrounded.
  • Once all the balls are rolled out and placed on parchment paper, stick them in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place a glass bowl over a boiling pot of water and add the semisweet chocolate and butter. Stir until smooth and glossy.
  • Remove the balls from the freezer and roll in the melted chocolate. Place back on the parchment paper and top with any additional coconut mixture.
  • Let stand a few hours until chocolate is set, or toss them in the freezer to speed it up.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 70mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 190IU | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.6mg
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Make sure you head to both Stacey and Julie’s websites to check out the dessert balls they prepared for the #HolidayEntertaining2016 guide.

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No Bake Nanaimo Balls are a twist on the classic Canadian dessert recipe, Nanaimo bars. Making this sweet confection, a bite-sized treat.

50 comments on “Nanaimo Balls”

  1. Tried to make these and didn’t understand how the filling is “rollable”! It was a goopy mess 🙁

    • Oh no Amanda 🙁 Mine wasn’t goopy at all. It’s a soft, and gets stiffer over time. Let me double check my ingredients maybe I miss typed something!

    • I double checked and it’s what I wrote down. Are you sure you did 1/4 cup melted butter and
      3 tbsps cream? I may or may not have got my measuring cups confused in the past 😉

      It was soft though and hardened up over time (after I tossed them in the freezer to set).

    • Mine was like this too! To goopy to roll into balls!!  And I followed too a T the ingredients and directions 

    • Hmmm…I’m trying to troubleshoot but I don’t know. Mine were very soft, but I was able to form into balls. However, once I tossed them into the freezer to firm up that helped to dip in the chocolate.

  2. Oh my goodness I love this idea! I love Nanaimo bars and this would be yummy!

  3. What a great entertaining idea! They look beautiful!

  4. saw it, pinned it, made it, love it. gonna take a break before i toss them into the chocolate, but the few testers i had were very yummy. i used unsweetened coconut, as i don’t like sweets to be too sweet (makes no sense i know, but that’s how i roll :0) your recipe is a keeper, thanks for sharing.


  5. Saved as a favorite, I really like your blog!

  6. Hi 
    I have a question about the ingredients 

    For pudding mix you mean the powder or the pudding cream !?!?!
    Thx for answering 

  7. you should mention to make the pudding mix, or just buy pudding mix already made.

  8. Hi sorry to bother you. I am interested in making your Nanaimo Balls. They look delicious! I was going through the ingredients and I had one question I was hoping you could answer for me. When it comes to the dry pudding mix, is it instant mix or cook and serve? Thank you!

  9. Hi,

    If I used the custard cream powder would I use the same amount as the pudding powder?  Great idea, thanks for posting.

  10. Mine was goopy too but I put the filling in the fridge for a few minutes and it worked okay after that. I had a lot of the crusty part left over and quite a bit of chocoalte too so maybe I didn’t roll them up enough in the mixture?

    • I just doubled checked my instructions and I do have it stated in there to freeze them (mine were goopy too but after I froze them, they worked out great 🙂 I had a little left (if memory serves me right) but I’d rather have too much then too little, it also depends on how big you make the balls too 🙂 Happy eating!

  11. 4 stars
    I think I was a little short on powdered sugar the first go-round and that’s why the filling didn’t roll so easy. I had the right amount the second time and the filling is firmer so probably will be easier to roll – plus I’m leaving it in the fridge for a while. I’m really glad I found the recipe, though. Love the bar version and these are just as amazing so thanks!

  12. These look great! I was wonder if you’ve tried making them ahead of time and keeping them in the freezer. If so, how long do they need to thaw for before serving?

  13. These are great!!! Quick and easy. Love it

  14. 4 stars
    These taste good but are very sweet.  My filling was also soupy and I followed the recipe to the t.  I tried to salvage my filling by putting the dough in the feeezer for 20 minutes BEFORE I rolled it into balls.  It worked very well.  Maybe one step should be added in the recipe steps.

  15.  Hi, these look amazing. I’d like to send these to my son in college. Do they need to stay refrigerated? 

  16. What kind of cream? I”m trying to make these but no idea

  17. Made these, followed the recipe as is, turned out amazing! After I covered with chocolate I sprinkled some with graham cracker crumbs and left the others without. I will definitely be making these again. Thanks!

  18. Question

    Is the chocolate mixture supposed to be like crumbs or “wet”?
    There is no way I can roll the filling in the chocolate mixture it is very wet I had to mash them together lol
    I’m thinking scratch the melted butter?

    • Hey Kendra, the chocolate mixture is crumb-like. A lot of people miss the instruction that I have to freezer the filling before rolling. That’s what I did for the balls in the photo. However, if you make it without the butter, let me know how it goes. I have been meaning to remake these because I have had some people complain and some let me know they were perfect.

  19. 5 stars
    I use the chocolate base of my Nanaimo bar recipe, doubling the chocolate custard(?) portion of the recipe, and wrap a Tbsp or so around a cherry. I then wrap a layer of the cherry ball coating around that and then roll the balls in chocolate cookie or graham wafer crumbs. I call them Black Forest Balls. No matter what you call them, they are to die for! Enjoy

  20. I thought I followed this recipe to the letter but I messed up. I froze my balls before I put the crumbs on and now it won’t stick. Any ideas would be great.

  21. Amazing!!! Made as written and they came out awesome. Couldn’t make enough fast enough. I have been asked to make a double bath for Christmas. Thanks!!!

  22. I LOVE Nanimo bars,this recipe looks so easy,I’m trying it now,for Christmas gifts….haha ya they won’t make it to the gift bags!
    Thanks for a great idea

    • Haha! It’s true…they’re so addicting. Good thing they’re rich so you don’t eat them all 🙂

      Remember the instruction about the freezer 🙂 Some people forget it and I get emails about it 😉

  23. Is the pudding you use instant? Thanks I’m getting ready to make these hopefully today here in Canada eh!

  24. Can these be made ahead and frozen for a few weeks

  25. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I grew up in Nanaimo but now live in the South and have been missing this great dessert. I came across your recipe a few years ago and have been making them for friends and family ever since. They’re always a hit! Thank you. The only thing is I renamed them Nanaimo Bar Truffles because we’re really immature and “Nanaimo Balls” makes us snicker every time

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