7 layer bars are a classic dessert that’s made with a graham cracker crust then layered with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, nuts, sweetened condensed milk and shredded coconut. 

7 layer bars cut into squares stacked on top of each other on dark blue plate with white background

Our recipe includes 8 substitutions so you can make these magic bars or hello dolly bars exactly how you like them! 

These bars are quite popular! 7 layer bars are definitely a church potluck and bake sale staple. 

As the recipe has been passed down over the years, the name has evolved as well. Seven layer bars are also called magic bars, magic cookie bars, 7 layer magic bars or hello dolly bars.

I think the name of this recipe can change depending on where you grew up! I grew up in the midwest where we call them 7 layer bars. 

ingredients to make seven layer bars collage

Typical Layers In Magic Bars

  • graham cracker crust
  • chocolate chips
  • butterscotch chips
  • chopped pecans or walnuts
  • sweetened condensed milk
  • shredded coconut
how to make magic bars step by step collage

How To Make Seven Layer Bars

  1. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper
  2. In a small mixing bowl combine the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs. Press the crumbs into the pan.
  3. Sprinkle the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and chopped nuts over the crust. 
  4. Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the chips. 
  5. Sprinkle the shredded coconut over the condensed milk, then use a fork to press the coconut into the milk.
  6. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the top is golden in color. Allow the bars to cool to room temperature before slicing. 

Do 7 Layer Bars Need To Be Refrigerated? 

No, you don’t need to refrigerate seven layer bars. They can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days. 

hello dolly bars cut into squares and arranged on a metal baking sheet

How To Neatly Cut Cookie Bars

Use the parchment paper to remove the bars from the pan. Next, use a large sharp knife to cut the bars into squares. To achieve clean cut lines, wipe the knife clean between each cut. 

You can also refrigerate the bars for 1 hour before cutting. This will help the bars stay together and ensure clean cutting. 

How To Freeze 7 Layer Cookie Bars

There are 2 freezing options. You can freeze the entire slab or cut them into squares and freeze.

Entire slab: Allow the bars to cool completely. Wrap well in plastic wrap then store in a freezer ziplock bag.

Squares: Allow the bars to cool completely then cut into squares. Wrap bundles of 4-5 squares well in plastic wrap then store in a freezer ziplock bag.

To Thaw: Place in the fridge overnight or on the counter for a few hours. 

7 layer cookie bars cut into squares on brown parchment paper

7 Layer Bars Substitutions

• peanut butter chips
• peanuts
• oatmeal
• caramel pieces
• white chocolate chips
• reese’s pieces
• mini peanut butter cups
• m&ms

Feel free to substitute any of the following for the ingredients listed in the recipe.

Tips

  • Be sure to use sweetened condensed milk, not evaporated milk.
  • Transfer the sweetened condensed milk to a microwave safe bowl and warm it in the microwave. This will help the milk drizzle nice and evenly because it won’t be so thick. 
  • Line your pan with parchment paper, that way you can remove the bars from the bar to cut them. 
hello dolly bars cut into squares and arranged on a metal baking sheet

More Bar Desserts

7 Layer Bars

7 layer bars are a classic dessert that’s made with a graham cracker crust then layered with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, nuts, sweetened condensed milk and shredded coconut. Recipe includes 8 substitutions so you can make these magic bars or hello dolly bars exactly how you like them!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 20 servings
Author: Beth

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs 1 sleeve or 12 crackers
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted 1 stick
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk 14 oz
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper. To get the parchment paper to stick to the pan, butter the bottom and sides of the pan, then press the parchment paper into the pan.
  • In a small mixing bowl combine the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs. Press the crumbs into the pan, either using your hands or the bottom of a cup to pack the crust down.
  • Evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and chopped nuts over the crust. 
  • Evenly drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the chips. Evenly sprinkle the shredded coconut over the milk, then use a fork to press the coconut into the milk.
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the top is golden in color. Allow the bars to cool to room temperature before slicing. 

Notes

Transfer the sweetened condensed milk to a microwave safe bowl and warm it in the microwave. This will help the milk drizzle nice and evenly because it won’t be so thick. 

Nutrition

Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 103mg | Potassium: 188mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 209IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Tag @beth_thefirstyear!