Knutsford's Sweet Treat Recipe

Bakewell Tarts, Eccles Cakes, Nanaimo Bars (more about this one later), and even Betty's Tea Room Fat Rascals. All tasty treats associated with the area from which they originated. Now it's Knutsford's turn, and we need your help to create something for the town.

The idea stems from a trip to Nanaimo in Canada, where the famous Nanaimo Bar is so popular it has its own bar trail. Visitors pick up a trail map before making their way around the town to sample the Nanaimo Bar at various eateries.

And the fun doesn't stop at the bar in its original form. Some businesses have used the basic recipe, then added their own twist. You can now find cocktails, milkshakes, fudge, soap, massage oil, and even a Nanaimo Bar spring roll!

To develop a similar concept for Knutsford, we're searching for a unique and delicious sweet treat recipe from Knutsford residents. So if you have one you'd like to share, we'd love to hear from you.

What's the aim?

The ultimate aim is for the final recipe to be served in the various Knutsford cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants. Each venue may add their own twist to their version, but the basis will be the same.

And perhaps the different elements will provide inspiration for other treats around the town. Maybe an ice cream flavour at The Real Fruit Creamery, a chocolate bon-bon at Hot Cocoa, or even a cocktail in the bars.

Ideas & inspiration

Whether you've got a full recipe, or just some ideas and inspiration, we'd welcome your thoughts.

We may use elements from various different recipes to create one completely new one, making this a real community effort between a number of residents and businesses. After all, it's a recipe for Knutsford, so the more the merrier.

Local links

It would be great if we could incorporate flavours with a local link. For example:

  • Billingtons - creators of the gingerbread recipe synonymous with Market Drayton, once had a shop in what is now Detaljer Coffee Shop.
  • Humbug Cottage on Leycester Road gained its name thanks to these delicious sweets made by the lady who once lived there.
  • Perhaps the recipe could include honey from local producer, Bax Bees.
  • And, of course, there's always nuts for Knutsford!

Although not essential, some other things you might want to consider include:

  • Shelf life - to reduce food waste, a long shelf life is preferred
  • Ease of recipe - a relatively straightforward method is ideal
  • Ingredients - easily sourced, non-seasonal ingredients will help keep costs down

The rules:

The good news is, there are no rules. We're just looking for something different and delicious. Whether that's a bake or no-bake dessert, a cake, biscuit, tart, or flapjack. It could be something simple or a recipe with a variety of different elements. There are so many possibilities, and we can't wait to hear all your suggestions.

Need more inspiration?

You can view the variations of the Nanaimo Bar on the official Nanaimo Bar Trail website here: www.

If you fancy trying out the the recipe devised by local resident, Joyce Hardcastle, I've tweaked this one slightly to allow for UK measurements and substitutions.

Nanaimo Bar Recipe

Nanaimo Bar Image


Bottom Layer:

  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 175g digestive biscuits - crushed
  • 50g almonds - finely chopped
  • 80g desiccated coconut

Middle Layer:

  • 110g unsalted butter - softened
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • 2 tbsp custard powder
  • 250g icing sugar

Top Layer:

  • 115g dark chocolate (54%) - broken into even squares
  • 30g unsalted butter


  1. Line the bottom and sides of a 20cm (8 inch) shallow square cake tin.
  2. Place the butter, sugar and cocoa powder into a glass bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of boiling water. Stir continuously to melt the ingredients.
  3. Add the egg, stir to cook and thicken.
  4. Remove from the heat. Tip in the biscuit crumbs, chopped almonds and coconut. Give everything a really good mix up.
  5. Press the mixture into the bottom of the cake tin. Place in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to set.
  6. In the meantime, whisk together the softened butter, cream and custard powder until light and fluffy.
  7. Continue whisking as you gradually add the icing sugar, until its completely incorporated.
  8. Remove the tin from the fridge, spread the custard buttercream evenly over the bottom layer. Return to the fridge for another 15-20 minutes to firm up.
  9. Make the chocolate topping by placing the chocolate pieces and butter together in a glass bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of boiling water, gradually melt the ingredients together over a low heat, stirring continuously.
  10. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  11. Once cooled, but still liquid, spread the chocolate evenly over the middle layer.
  12. Chill for approximately 2 hours, until the chocolate has completely cooled and hardened.
  13. Remove from the tin. Cut the Nanaimo Bar into even sized squares or rectangles to serve.

How to get involved

If you love this concept, and want to get involved, you can share your ideas and/or recipes using the handy recipe card below, which is available to download and print.

Alternatively, these can be picked up and dropped off at Hot Cocoa (44 King Street).

Or simply email your suggestions to

Although it's not essential, if you have a photo of your recipe, or can include a simple illustration of what it looks like, that would be really useful.

The final date for this initial stage is Friday 29th September. So if you're heading off on holiday anywhere, let us know if you discover a food & drink flavour combination or sweet dish you think might work.

Once all the suggestions have been collated, 3 different recipes will be devised by some of the local chefs and business owners.

Then it's time to taste test, when again we'll be calling on Knutsford residents to have their say in choosing their favourite recipe. Watch this space for more details on what I'm sure will be a popular stage!

In the meantime, if you're feeling inspired and want to be part of Knutsford's history in creating something special for the town, send over your designs and ideas for Knutsford's Sweet Treat Recipe.

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