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 Cheesecake


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.

Nanaimo Cheesecake

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.

Nanaimo Cheesecake

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.

Nanaimo Cheesecake

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. 🙂

Nanaimo Cheesecake

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!


Nanaimo Cheesecake

Nanaimo Cheesecake is everything you would find in the  original bar, but made into a crisp and tasty cheesecake crust.

  • Author: Shawn
  • Prep Time: 30 min.
  • Cook Time: 1 hr. 10 min.
  • Total Time: 1 hr. 40 min.
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


For the Crust:

  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup sweetened 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
  • 3 tbsp vanilla custard powder

For the Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For the Crust:

  1. 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.
  2. Place a 9×13 baking dish on the bottom rack of your oven and fill with warm water.

For the Cheesecake:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. 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!

Keywords: Nanaimo, cheesecake

About the author

Shawn is the Owner and Creator of I Wash You Dry. She loves to create and share simple, family-friendly recipes. Mom to 5 adorable children and dwells in the desert of Southern Utah.
114 Responses
  1. Lisa

    I made this recipe a couple of years ago turned off the heat when cooked and left it in the oven over night. The next morning (Christmas morning) my husband turned on the oven to make breakfast forgetting the cake was still in there. When he finally smelled it burning he opens the door to a cheesecake fully engulfed in flames!! After a bit of panic on my part we cut off the charcoal and covered the rest in ganache. It was delish if a bit skimpy on the cheese part. I hope this year it will be better. I’m aiming for no flambe I really love this cheesecake! So tasty

    1. Hahaha! Oh my gosh that’s a hilarious story, but also so sad that your cheesecake got flambed! Hopefully you’ll get a really good cheesecake this year! 😉

  2. Darlene

    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!

  3. Mary

    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.

  4. Kathie

    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

  5. Elysia

    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.

  6. Donna Robinson

    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!

    1. Donna Robinson

      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!

      1. Elysia

        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.

  7. Tara

    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!

  8. koo

    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…?

  9. 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

    1. 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.

    1. 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! 🙂

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Shawn Syphus Hi, I'm Shawn and I'm a busy mom of five; pretending to live on a budget. I love to cook, and explore new recipes, but they have to be quick and easy with as few dishes as possible.

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