Peanut Butter and Jam Nanaimo Bars


These are the bars you make for someone you’re madly in love with.


Or maybe just have a crush on.

These are the bars you make when you have a broken heart.


Or better yet, to celebrate being single.

These are the bars you make when you want to say I’m sorry for being a jerk face.


Or maybe Happy Belated Birthday.

These are the bars you make when you’re celebrating 3 years of marriage and your husband has been dropping some serious hints about those amazing Nanaimo bars you made back in 2010.



Peanut Butter and Jam Nanaimo bars

Also known as: I Love You bars. Forgive Me bars. Bite Me bars. Anniversary Bars. Ange’s New Favourite Dessert Bars. Or the always popular, Me Time Bars. There’s always a good reason to make these scrumptious bites of peanut butter, chocolate, and jam! Be sure to keep them in the fridge as they will soften at room temperature. Use gluten-free graham crackers and they will be gluten-free to boot.

print this recipe!

Adapted from my other 3 flavours of Nanaimo bars and inspired by Guilty Kitchen.

Yield: 16 squares

Bottom Layer

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (or regular butter)
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp warm water, mixed)
  • 1 and ¼ cup peanut butter graham crackers or store bought, processed into crumb
  • 1/4 cup almonds, processed into crumb
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut


Middle layer

  • 1/4 cup non-dairy butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup smooth all-natural peanut butter (if firm, you may need to increase butter)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup strawberry jam


Top layer

  • 4 oz non-dairy dark chocolate chips (about 1/2 cup maybe?)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (or butter)
  • Shredded coconut, to garnish (optional)



1. Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper and grease with butter on all sides.

2. Bottom layer: In a small bowl mix the flax egg together (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp warm
water). Set aside. In a saucepan, whisk together the butter, sugar, and sifted cocoa powder. Heat on medium to low and stir frequently until smooth. Now add in the gelled up flax egg and stir well.
Now remove from heat and stir in the coconut, processed almonds, and graham wafer crumbs. Stir well and then mix with your hands. Press this mixture into your prepared pan, ensuring that you press it down very firmly. I used a pastry roller to smooth it out, but this is not necessary. Place in freezer to set.

3. Middle layer: In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, beat together all the middle layer ingredients except the jam until smooth. Spread middle layer over top the bottom layer with a wet spoon as evenly as possible. Now gently spread on the jam over top. Place in freezer to set.

4. Top Layer: Melt your chocolate and oil in a double boiler or in the microwave. Stir well until smooth. Remove the pan from freezer and spread the chocolate quickly over the top. Sprinkle coconut on top. Place back in the freezer for about 1 hour until set. Once set you can transfer it to the fridge to keep until ready or you can place it on the counter for about 10 minutes before cutting it into squares.

Note: Middle layer gets very soft at room temperature. Please keep in the fridge until serving.


Did I mention these are no bake?

As if you needed another reason to make them.


The graham coconut base is a cross between a coconut macaroon and a graham crust, with a chewy, moist, and chocolaty flavour that is impossible to resist. The middle layer is basically a peanut butter ball in bar form topped with strawberry jam and a rich chocolate coating sprinkled with coconut.

Hot damn.


If these bars aren’t the answer, I don’t know what the question is.


Happy 3rd Anniversary, to my one and only chocolate monster! Red heart

For photos and a video of our wedding day, check out this post (as well as some love butter muffins!).


Now, where can I hide these so I don’t eat them all before tonight?

Don’t say “at my house”…your sticky fingers can’t be trusted either!

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram (@ohsheglows + @theglowspot), Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+

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{ 185 comments… read them below or add one }

Carissa August 31, 2011

I feel like that middle layer is very close to icing, one of my favorite foods. That means these are my new great excuse to eat lots of icing and less actual cake. Sweeeeeet! :-)


Brittany @ Runwithbritt August 31, 2011

Happy anniversary! I’ve been on a PB & J kick recently… I’m thinking these babies for breakfast!


Fran {The Flavorful Fork} August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary! These bars look so delicious! I love anything with peanut butter. Just enjoyed your Zucchini Bread Oatmeal this morning BTW which was soo tasty. Felt great getting a serving of veggies in before I left the house!


Angela (Oh She Glows) August 31, 2011

Mmm glad you enjoyed it! I need to make it again asap!


Jess@atasteofconfidence August 31, 2011

happy anniversary! looks delicious.


Arielle (Your Vegan Girlfriend) August 31, 2011

These look to die for! I have a end of the semester potluck coming up next week and I think these could be the perfect “So Happy I’m Done With This Class” Bars. And hey, if not, they will be “Eat Alone In Your Car” Bars …. into it. Thanks Ange!


Angela (Oh She Glows) August 31, 2011

that sounds fabulous, so versatile aren’t they? ;)


Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary! Those definitely look like a special and delicious treat! :)


Sonia (the Mexigarian) August 31, 2011

happy anniversary to such a lovely couple!! <3


Liz @ Something To Chew On August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary! Those bars look incredible.


Ashley August 31, 2011

I’m still drooling thinking about the ones you made last fall…and now THIS?? Oh you’ve gone + done it!! ;) Congrats on THREE years. Time is surely flying!! The bars look OUTrageous.


Eat Hike Sleep Repeat August 31, 2011

OMG…what more can I say? I licked my screen. Is that wrong?


Angela (Oh She Glows) August 31, 2011

No, in fact, I encourage it ;)


Shayla @ The Good Life August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary! You’re such a beautiful couple and our 3rd wedding anniversary will be at the end of September! Time flies by so fast when you’re having fun huh?!

And those bars look so delish, I want to sink my teeth into one of them now! ;)


Val @ Ramblings of a Babymama August 31, 2011

Oh Angela! You have me drooling on my computer just reading about the recipe and looking at the pictures. I feel a little present for my lovely husband (and maybe some for me too!) coming up this weekend! Thanks for sharing the recipe!


Rachel @ The Avid Appetite August 31, 2011

aww happy anniversary! Great pic of you two. These bars look unbelievable!


Lauren August 31, 2011

happy anniversary!
those bars look to die for!
i definitely need to think of an excuse QUICK to make those..maybe week before wedding delicious bars? I think that sounds good.. my dress will fit no matter what :)..hopefully haha.
your wedding pictures are absolutely beautiful and make me so excited for my upcoming wedding!


Mara August 31, 2011

Happy 3rd Anniversary and hope you found a good hiding spot:-)
Can’t wait to try this recipe! Any other middle layer variations (peppermint, pumpkin, salted caramel, coconut, vanilla bean) coming up soon?


Angela (Oh She Glows) August 31, 2011

Mmm. I made peppermint, vanilla, and cherry last time, but pumpkin sounds amazing! Or gingerbread :)


Rachel August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary!! My jaw dropped when I saw those bars… They look so unbelievably good!!


Apron Appeal August 31, 2011

Hey you changed your header…please don’t say you did that a while ago, I’ll feel like an idiot. anyway, I love PB&J well I go through phases…those look so good, but your veggies on the post below look even better. I’ve got to grow me a garden next year.


Kimberly August 31, 2011

Freaking. YUM! Those bars look scrumptious!

I love that pic of you and hubby! <3 You look stunning and you both look so happy!


Robyn @ Blueberries and Oats August 31, 2011

Aw, Angela. Once you said “These are the bars you make when you have a broken heart.” I knew I had to make these. Thank you for sharing your happiness with those of us who need it <3

Happy Anniversary


Angela (Oh She Glows) August 31, 2011

Aww I would make you a batch if I could!


Robyn @ Blueberries and Oats September 5, 2011

Just wanted you to know I made these for an end of summer BBQ and they were delicious! I used almond butter instead of peanut and it was a big hit. =) Thanks for yet another amazing recipe!


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 6, 2011

Glad to hear that! :)


Kristi @lifesprinkles August 31, 2011

What a cute post! The bars look delicious!!

Happy Anniversary!

PS love the term ‘jerk face’ :)


Christina August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary! I’m actually from Nanaimo so this is cool to see :-) Look delicious…


Lisa August 31, 2011

SWOOOOOOON – These look delightful!

and happy anniversary!


Elizabeth August 31, 2011

Glad I could inspire you Angela, and what an inspiration! These look fabulous! I LOVE PB, obviously, and adding jam to it, these just might be a new favourite incarnation of Nanaimo bars in my house!


kaila @ healthy helper! August 31, 2011

I am DROOLING! I have been eating pb and j like its going out of style lately!! So this is just one more way I can enjoy it!! YUM!


margy rose August 31, 2011

Going to make these FOR SURE for my guy. May try to make them red velvet somehow…. hmm…


Pure2raw Twins August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary!!!! Love that picture of the two of you, beautiful!! I just had seen a nanaimo bar recipe on another blog the other day and I was like wow those are amazing and I have to try one, and now seeing your yummy creation I really need to try one!! :)


Nicole @ giraffelegs August 31, 2011

stoppp I’m crying. That is such an adorb photo.


Ashley@MyFoodNFitnessDiaries August 31, 2011! Can I just say party in my mouth?! These look so incredibly tasty! Thanks for sharing!


tweal August 31, 2011

My goodness those look delicious – and what a clever nanaimo bar addition! Thanks for sharing the recipe.


Linda August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary! Those look amazing! I love traditional Nanaimo Bars and have also made Squamish Bars (base is a peanut butter and cornflake crust). So yummy! Tonight I’m having your chocolate cake batter smoothie for dessert!


Annie@stronghealthyfit August 31, 2011

Such a sweet post! Happy Anniversary. Now the idea of these bars is in my head and I must make them asap.


Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 31, 2011

Happy anniversary! How on earth are you going to top THIS recipe for your next anniversary?! You’d better get brainstorming. ;)


Jamie @ CollegeGirlCooking August 31, 2011

Those bars look to die for!


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table August 31, 2011

I love PBJ anything! This looks incredible.

Happy Anniversary to you both! Your wedding pic is gorgeous. :)


April August 31, 2011

Oh my goodness! They look so fantastic and have all of my favorite flavors! I need to make these!


FoodFeud August 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary to you guys! These bars look awesome. I like the idea better than the traditional, which just seems like way too much sugar on top of sugar.


KimC August 31, 2011

I made these tonight, they came out perfectly. My husband LOVED them. Thanks so much for another fantastic recipe! Love, love, love your site–have had great luck with many of your recipes.


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 1, 2011

So happy you both enjoyed them Kim!


Kathy August 31, 2011

Hide them in a cupboard that you rarely ever look at!
That’s what I did to my bag of dark chocolate chips!!…of course…I did sneak in and grab some and ate until my teeth ached (too much sugar makes my teeth feel ‘weak’ :\)
I wanna make these ;) In time, of course.


MB August 31, 2011

Mmmm…all purpose bars! I’d love to hide a few in my belly. ;)


Joann@womaninreallife August 31, 2011

Those look truly scrumptious!


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