I have been dreaming about making this Nanaimo Cheesecake ever since I made these Nanaimo Bars a few months ago.
I basically took all the goodness of a Nanaimo Bar and married it with a cheesecake. And you better believe it’s the most delicious cheesecake you’ll ever consume.
Nanaimo (pronounced Nuh-Nigh-Moe) is a city in British Columbia, Canada. That is where the Nanaimo Bar recipe was originated long ago.
The bottom layer of this cheesecake is a combination of cocoa, graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and walnuts. It’s everything you would find in the bottom of the original bar, but made into a crisp and tasty cheesecake crust.
I made the actual cheesecake portion with a standard vanilla cheesecake base, but I added some vanilla custard powder to the mix. That is an essential part of making a Nanaimo Bar, so I made sure to include it in this cheesecake.
It gives the cheesecake a super creamy texture that just melts in your mouth.
The chocolate ganache that finishes off the top is also an essential element in a Nanaimo Bar, so I couldn’t leave it out of this Nanaimo Cheesecake. It adds a little bit… ok, a good amount… of sweetness to the top.
Overall, this Nanaimo Cheesecake is divine, delicious, decadent, and ultimately… perfect.
I’m going to share a secret with you. Because a lot of you had the issue of a cracked cheesecake when you made my Pumpkin Cheesecake. There is a way to make your cheesecake look flawless even after it’s gotten a horrendous crack in it.
And yes- even this cheesecake had a rather large crack on top! But, it was easily fixed using this nifty trick!! Then I was able to pour the heavenly chocolate ganache over top without it seeping into the cheesecake. Watch –
Just make sure you have your cheesecake fully chilled before attempting to fix the crack. My crack was much larger than the one in the video and I was still able to fix it. 🙂
I made this Nanaimo Cheesecake this past weekend and I had some girlfriends over for a little girl’s night in, everyone just loved it.
I know you’ll love it too!
For the Crust:
- 4 tbsp butter, melted
- 5 tbsp cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 3/4 cup coconut flakes
For the Cheesecake
- 4 8oz bricks of cream cheese, softened
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp vanilla custard powder
For the Chocolate Ganache
- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For the Crust:
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs, walnuts, coconut, cocoa powder, and sugar in a food processor and process until fine crumbs. Pulse in the vanilla and melted butter until moistened. Press into the bottom and a little up the sides of a 10 inch springform pan. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, but keep oven on.
- Place a 9x13 baking dish on the bottom rack of your oven and fill with warm water.
For the Cheesecake:
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating in-between, and scrape down sides of bowl occasionally.
- Add the sour cream, sugar, vanilla and vanilla custard powder. Mix until smooth. Pour onto the prepared crust. Bake on the rack above the pan filled with water for 1 hour.
- Turn off the oven, crack it open slightly and leave in oven for 1-2 hours. Remove from oven and let come to room temperature completely. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge to chill for 2 hours. Fix any cracks, if necessary.
For the Ganache:
- Place the chocolate chips in a bowl, set aside. Heat the cream in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, then pour on top of the chocolate chips. Let sit for 30 seconds, then whisk until smooth. Let cool slightly, then carefully pour on top of the cheesecake. Refrigerate again until set. Enjoy!
Hi I don’t have a springform pan. Do you think it will work in a glass baking dish?
I made it on the weekend for a dinner party, went over extremely well. I only had a 9″ spring form, it worked fine, crust just thicker. This cake weighed a ton, could not believe how heavy it was lol. Great recipe, will definitely make this again!
So glad you enjoyed it!
Can I use vanilla pudding mix instead of custard powder??
Yes, that will work!
For anything Nanaimo Bar related, you want to use Bird’s custard powder for it to really taste legit. Had my mum send me a container of it from Canada with the homestay student I sent her for that exact reason.
I have this in the oven now. This is the 3rd time I have made it, so awesome!! didn’t have enough graham crum bso I beat up some Dad’s cookies with my rubber hammer and used those; added one more Tbsp. butter to crust. I find ganache will thicken as it cools, for those who say the ganache is runny.
Is it 4 x 8oz bricks of cream cheese
Or a total of 8 oz of cream cheese.
Measurements are different in australia.
I was born born and raised in Nanaimo. Lived in Nanaimo for 55 yrs. We recently moved north of Nanaimo but remain on Vancouver Island. Just a 20 min. drive to Nanaimo. I’ve ate plenty of nanaimo bar in my life and our 4 boys growing up were always excited to gobble up the bars. I look forward to making the cheesecake Thanks for sharing
Mine is in the cooling stage ND I’m a bit disappointed. I cooked it for the hour and let it rest in the oven for the hour and it seems that now I cannot fix my crack. The cheese cake is too set and when I attempt to repair it I just continue to make more mini cracks. Not sure if I waited too long or what. Oh well I guess that area will just have more chocolate.
I’m wondering how this would work in unbaked cheesecake form… simply because I like that kind better when I’ve made berry cheesecakes… Not sure if the custard aspect of it has to be cooked or not. That’s my main consideration… Gelatin winds up being necessary for non-baked cheesecakes though.
I’ve been making Nanaimo bars for years and thought I’d try this. I was at the final part with the cream and chocolate chips. Did everything as instructed. I’m using 35% heavy cream. Well, it’s runny, about the texture of a thin gravy, there’s no way this is topping all my hard work with the cheesecake part! There’s got to be something wrong with the proportions as so many people are having trouble!
I compared this recipe to others online, your proportion of cream to chocolate chips should be ½ cup heavy cream to 1 cup of chocolate chips to achieve something that will set!
I am making this right now and am so glad I read the comments. I will be trying the 1 cup chocolate chips to 1/2 cup whipping cream and going from there. Thank you.
I just baked it for an hour yet it still looks to be runny in the middle?
Hi, I live in Sweden and we don’t have vanilla custard powder here so can I substitute something else for it?
I haven’t tried a substitute, but I’ve heard of others trying vanilla instant pudding mix. Hope you can find some of that!
Can you get a hold of Bird’s custard powder? That is ideal.
It works great as mini cheesecakes too. I put paper liners in muffin tins and can get 36 out of this recipe. Bake for about 15 minutes or so till set and they freeze great!
my cheese cake after the hour baking looks…fluffy.
not like a cheesecake should be. it looks more like a souffle.
ps i very very carefully followed the recipe..but alas…?
Hi Koo, the cheesecake will rise when baking, but after being chilled will settle back down into a gorgeous cheesecake! 🙂
Does this freeze well?
I’ve never frozen it, but I would imagine that it would. 🙂
Made this today. I love Nanaimo bars but found these only looked like them and did not taste like the bars. Also I think it could have been baked another 15-20 mins before turning oven off. A 12″ pan would be better than the 9″ as there was a lot of filling left over. I give this a 6/10. Quite expensive to make and not as delicious ax I hoped
Sorry you didn’t have the best experience with this cheesecake. Oven temperatures do vary, so in the future just cook until the center is only slightly jiggly.
Just wondering do you use 32 oz of cream cheese? Or 8 oz?
It’s 32oz total. 🙂
I’m thinking of making this but I only have a 9 inch springform. Can I just extend the baking time?
Hi Amy, I am not sure if the cheesecake would fit in the 9″ springform, but you can give it a try. I would just bake until the center has risen and is only slightly jiggly. Just keep an eye on it! 🙂
I am allergic to nuts. Any suggestions to adjust the base recipe if I leave out the walnuts?
Sharon. I would think just leaving the nuts out and it would be fine. I have made regular Nanaimo bars without the nuts with no problems.
I live in Comox, an hour away from Nanaimo,
I just made this for a party tonight,
if the filling tastes as good cooked as it done on the spoon last night
it will be a winner 🙂
Way to go Elke, I live in Victoria, also an hour away from Nanaimo and I can’t wait to give this a try…I bet it was successful tonight!
How did it go?
Hello, I was very surprised to see your recipe for Nanaimo Cheesecake, a friend posted on Facebook earlier today. I just had to check it out, as I wondered how on earth you had come across the Nanaimo Bars recipe in the first place. Glad to see you have visited our neck of the woods and have come up with this wonderful cheesecake recipe.
Nanaimo Bars have been a part of my life since I was a little girl, over 60 years ago. My mother always made them for birthdays, as well as other celebrations. I continue the tradition with my family.
Because I live so close to Nanaimo, it was very interesting to see how far these bars have traveled. No one, I believe, has ever found out where these bars came from and who was the first to make them, but with wonderful bakers, as yourself, to strive for even better recipes, they will continue to be served perhaps even world wide.
Thank you for your hard work, I’ve just signed up for your inbox recipes…all the best to you and yours!
Thank you for your sweet comment Carol! I’m so glad you found my recipe and site, I sure hope you enjoy all the recipes! 🙂
Thank you Shawn, I’m very sure I will…you have a wonderful web site and I look forward to seeing more of your recipes. Cheers for now!
I thought there was some sort of history with them re: a recipe contest many years ago…
I felt like celebrating life this weekend so I ccoked up a storm and decided to also make this cheese cake this weekend. It was super. I had to make some adjustments though. Although I set the oven at 350 degrees the cheesecake was set within half an hour and the top was brown so I quickly turned off the oven ,opened the door a bit and left it there for two hours. I left it on the counter for another 2 hours and then refrigerated it over night .I also had to adjust the ganache too. I followed the recipe but the mixture was too runny, so I poured half of the mixture in a separate bowl and added another cup of chocolate chips to it. That was perfect. I used the other half on vanilla ice cream. That was heavenly.
I live in the Caribbean so maybe that is why the first ganache mixture was a bit thin. But no love lost I got two for one. Topping for the cheese cake and ice cream. Great recipe my husband had two helpings. Thanks.
If you bake the cheesecake in a baine marie/ water bath it will not crack and dont mix it too much. I love nanaimo bars and will definitely try this cheese cake, it looks yummy.
It looks so good!