These incredible 7 Layer Bars will disappear like magic! Each layer adds to the salty, sweet, crunchy, gooey, deliciousness of the final dessert.
7 Layers of Deliciousness
7 Layer Bars get their name since there are typically seven layers of flavors to them. You have the butter, cookie crust, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, nuts, coconut, and the sweetened condensed milk topping.
Technically, if I’m counting right, there’s really only 6 layers because the butter gets mixed with the cookie crumbs. But I don’t lose sleep over it. HA. These bars also go by Hello Dolly Bars and Magic Bars because they are deliciously magical!
Magic Bars Recipe
We prefer vanilla wafer cookies for the crust, so we made seven layer bars without Graham crackers. Here’s what you’ll need for these magic cookie bars:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Vanilla wafer cookies: These need to be crushed into fine crumbs. It’s easiest in a food processor, but you can also place them all in a ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
- Salted butter: This is melted and gets mixed with the cookie crumbs to form a crust. Feel free to use unsalted butter, but add an extra pinch of salt to help with flavor.
- Chocolate chips: Chocolate chips are a main layer in 7 Layer bars. Use dark, milk, or semi-sweet, depending on your preference.
- Butterscotch chips: We absolutely love the flavor of butterscotch and it pairs so well with chocolate.
- Nuts: Pecans give the bars a nutty flavor. You could use walnuts, peanuts, or even almonds, if preferred.
- Shredded coconut flakes: Depending on personal preference, you may want to use either sweetened or unsweetened coconut flakes. For us, it’s sweetened all the way!
- Sweetened condensed milk: This is sort of the “glue” that holds the bars together. It also adds an extra level of sweet, rich flavor and ultra creamy feel to the bars. Sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk are not the same thing. Make sure you use sweetened condensed milk.
- Heavy cream: Mixed with the sweetened condensed milk to loosen and make it pourable like a sauce, and also adds richness. You can use half and half or whole milk instead.
- Sea salt: A bit of sea salt elevates the flavor of the other ingredients.
Because there are so many layers of flavor in these 7 Layer Bars you have a lot of flexibility should you decide to change or substitute any of the layers. For example, you could change the type of chips you use, do a double layer of one type of chips, two layers of nuts, a mixed nut layer, omit the coconut, etc. You get to decide which layers you like most and which ones you’d rather modify. In the end, you get to be in charge of the magic you make! Here are some ideas:
- Use graham cracker crumbs: We love the taste of vanilla wafer cookies for the crust layer, but graham crackers are often used also.
- Vary the chocolate chips: You can use any chocolate chips. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or even white chocolate chips are all delish!
- Don’t like butterscotch? Try peanut butter chips, instead. Chocolate and peanut butter love one another.
- Try a different nut: Our preference is pecans for these magic bars, but walnuts, almonds, or peanuts all work for the nut layer.
How to Make Seven Layer Bars
7 Layer Magic Bars are so easy to make! Here’s a brief summary:
(Scroll down to the complete printable recipe card for all the details.)
- Make the bottom crust: Combine the cookie crumbs with melted butter and press the mixture into the bottom of a greased 9×13 baking dish.
- Create the layers: Create layers over the crust with the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, chopped nuts, and coconut flakes.
- Whisk together the topping: Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, and salt, then pour evenly over the top of the entire dish.
- Bake: Bake until bubbly and the coconut is golden brown.
- Cool, slice, and serve: Once done baking, let cool completely before cutting and serving.
How to Get Clean Cut Bars
How to Store Seven Layer Bars
You can store these at room temperature for a few days, tightly wrapped in foil, or put them in the refrigerator for up to one week. These also freeze very well wrapped in foil and transferred to a freezer-safe ziploc bag. They will keep frozen up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.
More Dessert Bar Recipes:
- Gooey Butter Cake
- Lemon Gooey Bars
- German Chocolate Gooey Bars
- Apple Pie Bars
- Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars
- Praline Crunch Bars
7 Layer Bars
- 2 cups vanilla wafer cookie crumbs (about 80 cookies)
- 6 tablespoons salted butter , melted
- 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/4 cups butterscotch chips
- 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans
- 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish and set it aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs and the melted butter until combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the baking dish to create a crust.
- Spread the semi-sweet chocolate chips over the crust to create an even layer. Create another layer with the butterscotch chips, followed by a layer of chopped pecans, and finally a shredded coconut layer, making sure to fill in any “holes” in the layers.
- In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, and salt. Pour the mixture evenly over the top of the entire 9×13 inch baking pan.
- Bake in the oven for 20-23 minutes or until bubbly and the coconut is golden brown.
- Once done baking, let cool completely. Then cut and enjoy!TIP! To get clean cuts, either lightly spray and wipe the knife blade with nonstick spray in between cutting, or dip the blade in hot water and wipe with a clean kitchen towel to dry in between cutting.