These seven layer magic cookie bars are a must-have cookie recipe! The buttery graham cracker crust is topped with chocolate, butterscotch, and layers of other tasty ingredients, all melted together in a sweet gooey, melt-in-your-mouth bar. Make seven layer bars for dessert or your next gathering!
This magic cookie bar recipe is one of the easiest cookie bars you can make (even easier than my white chocolate raspberry bars). You don’t even need a mixing bowl or mixer because all you have to do is layer the ingredients in a baking pan and bake for close to half an hour. That’s it!
These seven layer bars are mouth-wateringly delicious with chewy chocolate, butterscotch, coconut, graham cracker, and more. Seven layers of ingredients come together to make cookie bar magic! It honestly is making me hungry just writing about it!
This is the original version and the recipe I grew up making with my mother every year during the holidays. I think it’s pretty similar (maybe even the same) as the Eagle Condensed Milk brand’s recipe, but I haven’t checked lately to verify that.
One of the great things about this dessert recipe is it’s easy to make your own magic cookie bar variation. For example, if you prefer no coconut, you can simply leave it out. Or substitute anything you don’t want for something you prefer more.
I even include a gluten-free magic cookie bars recipe below (this recipe is SUPER easy to make gluten-free).
- Butter – Margarine works too.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs – Pre-crushed graham crackers are fine, or you can buy graham crackers and crush them yourself in a food processor to make fine crumbs.
- Shredded Coconut – Don’t use large or extra-fine shredded coconut – the medium-shred works great. You can use sweetened or unsweetened varieties.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – Feel free to substitute other options (see ideas below).
- Butterscotch Chips – Or you could use toffee bits instead.
- Chopped Walnuts or Pecans – Use whichever nut you prefer, or none at all.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – Regular full-fat works the best.
Gluten-Free Magic Cookie Bars Option
To make gluten-free seven layer magic bars, you’ll need:
- Butter – Or margarine.
- Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Crumbs – or just grab regular GF graham crackers and toss them into your food processor or blender to grind them up into fine bits.
- Shredded Coconut – Again, don’t use large or extra-fine shredded coconut. The medium-shred is the best option. Depending on how sweet you like your bars, you can use either sweetened or unsweetened.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – Nestle chocolate chips ARE gluten-free.
- Hershey’s Butterscotch Chips – Go with Hershey’s for this. Nestle butterscotch chips are NOT gluten-free (I know, it’s confusing!)
- Chopped Walnuts or Pecans
- Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
If you or your child are very sensitive to gluten, it’s always best to check the labels yourself, as we never know when a brand may change its ingredients.
Follow the instructions for the regular magic cookie bars below to make this gluten-free version.
How To Make The Best Seven Layer Bars
Here is the process for making these delicious magic cookie bars – it’s super easy!
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Tip: To prevent sticking, add parchment paper to the bottom of a 9x13x2″ baking dish.
Then, melt the butter and pour it into the pan. It should just cover the bottom.
Note: My mother used to put the pan in the oven to slowly melt the butter, but I find that method takes too long, so I just melt it in the microwave or on the stove and pour it straight into the pan.
Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs evenly over the butter. Don’t worry about it looking perfect.
Then, sprinkle the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips over the graham layer.
Note: If you find butterscotch too sweet, you can substitute milk chocolate chips. This recipe is very easy to tweak.
Next, sprinkle on the shredded coconut and then the walnuts.
Finally, pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over everything.
Next, bake your seven layer bars for 25-30 minutes until the edges are just turning golden brown.
Finally, cool your bars completely (if you can resist waiting that long), then cut them into bars.
And there you have it – quick and easy magic cookie bars that are perfect for parties, holidays, or any time of the year!
Seven Layer Bars Variation Ideas
Here are some ideas for changing up the ingredients to add a little variety to these magic bars!
- Make coconut-free cookie bars by simply leaving out the shredded coconut.
- Change up the chocolate flavors by substituting milk chocolate chips for semi-sweet (or use 1/2 semi-sweet and 1/2 milk chocolate chips). White chocolate chips are also a delicious idea, or use some dark chocolate chips for dark chocolate cookie bars.
- For a winning chocolate and peanut butter combo, substitute peanut butter chips for the butterscotch chips.
- Make Andes Mint magic cookie bars by replacing the butterscotch chips with Andes mintbits. (You can find broken-up mint pieces for this purpose or simply break up the full-sized mints into smaller pieces.)
- Toss some marshmallows on the bars – it’s like adding the “cherry” on top!
- If you or your family love toffee, toffee bits would be a perfect addition to this recipe!
- For nut lovers, add more or use both Walnuts and Pecans. Or try peanuts for a fun twist.
Seven Layer Bars FAQs
Here are a few questions that readers frequently ask about making these addictively delicious gooey bars!
Do I need to press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan?
No. For this recipe, all you need to do is sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the melted butter, then top with the remaining ingredients as specified in the directions.
Can I replace the coconut in this seven layer bars recipe?
Yes! Oats make a terrific substitute for them. If you need your seven layer bars to be gluten-free, just make sure your oats are certified gluten-free. Rolled oats are best, but quick oats will work too.
How do I store seven layer bars?
I recommend cutting them into squares and storing them in an airtight container. You can store them either in the fridge or at room temperature.
Can I freeze these seven layer bars?
Absolutely! Cut them into squares and put them inside a freezer-safe bag. You can freeze them for up to 3 months.
To thaw them out, simply pull them out of the freezer and place them on the counter to come to room temperature.
However you make them, your family is sure to gobble up this tasty treat. Enjoy!
More Delicious Cookies Recipes To Try:
- Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies
- Classic Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles
- Russian Tea Cookies/Snowballs/Mexican Wedding Cookies
- Candy Caramel Bars
- Ooey Gooey Chunky Bars
Magic Cookie Bars | Seven Layer Bars
These Magic Cookie Bars with seven layers are a must-have Christmas cookie. A buttery graham cracker crust topped with chocolate and butterscotch are among other tasty ingredients, all melted together in a sweet gooey melt-in-your mouth bar.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 35 mins
- Yield: 18 1x
- Category: dessert
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: American
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
- 1 1/4 cup graham crackers crumbs (about 8–9 graham crackers crushed. Use gluten-free if needed)
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup butterscotch chips (use Hershey’s if gluten-free)
- 1 cup shredded coconut*
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk (use Eagle for gluten-free)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt the butter and pour evenly into a 9x13x2” pan. (It will just barely cover the bottom.) Spread graham crackers crumbs over the butter. Sprinkle the butterscotch & chocolate chips over next. Then sprinkle the coconut and nuts on.
- Lastly, pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top, evenly covering everything.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown.
- Cool completely and cut into bars.
- Serving Size: 1 bar
Keywords: Christmas cookies, Christmas dessert, magic cookie bars, gluten-free Christmas cookies
Copyright © Living Well Mom. All content and images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you would like to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words. Alternatively, you may link back to this post for the recipe.