7 Layer Bars (Magic Cookie Bars)
These homemade 7 Layer Bars are a classic dessert! They are loaded with many different flavors and textures. They are loved for their simplicity, versatility, and delicious flavor. These magic cookie dessert bars feature a buttery graham cracker crust, chocolaty and crunchy filling, and creamy topping!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- These 7 Layer Bars are versatile and allow for endless creativity.
- They are great for any occasion!
- These magic cookie bars are a hit at parties, gatherings, birthdays, and holidays.
- These bars are surprisingly easy to make.
- The layers might look complex, but the process is straightforward, making it perfect for bakers of all levels.
- They are crunchy, creamy, and chocolaty.
- Packed with nuts, coconut, and chocolate, these bars offer essential nutrients.
- These bars can be easily made gluten free with gluten free graham crackers.
- Check out these Pecan Pie Bars for another holiday favorite dessert!
Ingredients & Substitutes
These are the main ingredients and substitutions for these easy 7 layer bars. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and instructions.
Use melted unsalted butter for the graham cracker crust. If you only have salted butter, the recipe will be more salty but still delicious!
Graham cracker crumbs add a delicious nutty and sweet flavor to the crust. Use regular or gluten free graham crackers.
Shredded coconut adds a delicious texture and flavor. If you are allergic to coconut, omit it. The magic bars will still taste great.
Chocolate chips and butterscotch chips become melted and gooey! Feel free to add in white chocolate chips as well.
Chopped nuts add the crunch. I love walnuts and pecans for these bars.
Lastly, sweetened condensed milk adds a creamy texture. For a vegan version, make these Vegan Magic Cookie Bars.
What are 7 Layer Bars?
Seven layer bars are a classic dessert bar! They are made with seven layers of delicious ingredients. The traditional layers are:
- Graham cracker crumbs
- Melted butter
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Butterscotch chips
- Chopped nuts (usually walnuts or pecans)
- Shredded coconut
Once cooled, cut into squares or bars and enjoy!
Seven layer bars are also known as magic bars. They are so easy to make and always turn out delicious. They are a perfect dessert for every occasion!
Taste & Texture
The 7 layer bars are a magical blend of textures and flavors!
The buttery, crumbly base adds a subtle sweetness.
The chocolate chips and butterscotch chips add a melty and creamy texture. In addition, they add sweetness.
The nuts add a delicious crunch.
Lastly, the condensed milk adds richness and sweetness. The Eagle Brand is great.
How to Make
First, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
In a mixing bowl, combine the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs. Mix until the crumbs are evenly coated with butter.
Press the graham cracker mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish to form the crust.
Sprinkle the shredded coconut over the crust, followed by an even layer of chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and chopped nuts.
Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top of the layers, ensuring it covers the entire surface.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center is set.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and let the bars cool completely before cutting into squares.
Lastly, once cooled, slice the bars into desired sizes and serve.
Expert Tips for Success
Follow these tips and tricks to make the best seven layer bars.
Use high-quality ingredients to ensure that each layer tastes delicious.
Fresh nuts and good quality chocolate chips make a significant difference.
Be meticulous with layering.
Ensure each layer is spread evenly and that the ingredients are distributed well to experience each flavor in every bite.
Keep a close eye during baking to prevent overcooking.
The bars should be golden brown, while the middle should be set but not too firm.
Allow the magic seven layer bars to fully cool before cutting.
Flavor Variations & Add-Ins
Here are some fun ways to switch up the flavors of these 7 layer bars.
Mix and match different nuts like walnuts, pecans, or almonds for a varied texture and flavor. Peanuts also add a delicious flavor.
Experiment with different types of chocolate such as dark, milk, or white chocolate to tweak the sweetness and richness.
Consider adding dried fruits like cranberries or apricots for a tangy twist.
Add a little cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to the crust for added flavor.
Sprinkle with sea salt on top!
How to Serve & Store
Serve these magic cookie bars once fully cooled down.
Serve with a glass of milk, coffee, tea, or smoothie.
They are great with a little ice cream too!
Store the bars in an airtight container to maintain their freshness.
Store at room temperature for up to 4 days or freeze for longevity.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes, these bars freeze well. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe container or zip-lock bag.
Yes, you can use gluten-free substitutes for the ingredients that contain gluten, like the graham cracker crumbs, to make this dessert gluten-free.
The exact date of invention of 7 layer bars is unknown. They may have originated in the mid-1960s in the United States. The first published recipe for 7 layer bars, under the name “Hello Dolly Bars”, appeared in Clementine Paddleford’s food column in The Week magazine on September 19, 1965. The recipe was submitted by 11-year-old Alecia Leigh Couch.
Yes! Wrap and freeze for up to 2 months.
Alecia Leigh Couch, the 11-year-old girl who submitted the recipe to Clementine Paddleford’s food column, named the bars after the Broadway musical “Hello, Dolly!”, which was popular at the time. The recipe for 7-layer bars first appeared in a food column in The Week magazine on September 19, 1965, just a few months after the musical opened on Broadway. Clementine Paddleford named the bars after Alecia Leigh Couch, the 11-year-old girl who submitted the recipe to her food column. Alecia was a big fan of the musical “Hello, Dolly!”, and she may have named the bars after her favorite show.
Sure. Feel free to omit the coconut.
9 Inch by 13 Inch Pan: This pan is the perfect size for these magic cookie bars.
You May Also Enjoy
- Gluten Free Brownies
- Gluten Free Cookie Dough
- Paleo Brownies
- Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
- Gluten Free Chocolate Cookies
If you make this 7 layer magic bar recipe, I would really appreciate a review! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Join my exclusive Facebook Group for a behind the scenes look. I would love for you to follow along! For more ideas, check out these Dessert Recipes.
Get the Recipe: 7 Layer Bars
- First, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs. Mix until the crumbs are evenly coated with butter.
- Press the graham cracker mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish to form the crust.
- Sprinkle the shredded coconut over the crust, followed by an even layer of chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and chopped nuts.
- Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top of the layers, ensuring it covers the entire surface.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center is set.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and let the bars cool completely before cutting into squares.
- Finally, once cooled, slice the bars into desired sizes and serve.
- I am gluten free, so I used my homemade gluten free graham crackers. Then, crush them into crumbs.
- Feel free to add in white chocolate chips as well.
- Bake until the center is just barely set.
- Allow the bars to completely cool before slicing into. They are gooey!
- Store them at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- If needed, freeze for up to 2 months.
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