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Five Layer Bars recipe

Five Layer Bars recipe

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This is the perfect treat for anyone with a sweet tooth. A digestive biscuit base is topped with chocolate chips, coconut, pecans and sweetened condensed milk, before being baked to perfection.

112 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 24 squares

  • 175g digestive biscuit crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 115g butter, melted
  • 170g plain chocolate chips
  • 75g desiccated coconut
  • 120g chopped pecans
  • 1 (397g) tin sweetened condensed milk

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:45min

  1. Preheat oven to 170 C / Gas 3.
  2. Combine the biscuit crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 23cm square baking tin. Layer the chocolate chips, coconut and pecans over the crumbs. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top.
  3. Bake at 170 C / Gas 3 for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool and cut into squares.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(128)

Reviews in English (105)

by Recipechase

Here is a quick tip for everyone. I put the condensed milk into a glass measuring cup and microwave it for 1 minute. It makes it so much easier to pour it evenly over the crust. Also, we have always put the milk first over the crust then the coconut, pecans and choc chips. Press everything lightly into the milk and bake as directed. They come out much better that way. Word of warning, these are very sweet but if you have a healthy sweet tooth they are ohhhh so good.-20 May 2009


OMG, these are to die for!! As others suggested, I made the bars in a 13x9x2" pan, didn't add sugar to the graham cracker mixture, and increased the coconut to 1 1/3 cup. The second time I made these, I used a 9x9" pan, and only 1 cup of coconut (as called for). I think I like the second method the best (and leave out the sugar in the graham cracker mixture). Thanks so much for the recipe!!-15 Nov 2004

by SUSU143

Everybody goes nuts when I make this EASY recipe!!! I use walnuts instead of pecans & I skip the white sugar because I think the condensed milk & chocolate chips make it sweet enough. Try them with different variations of chocolate chips for a little variety. (once I used 1/2 chocolate chips & 1/2 peanut butter chips--WOW) And make sure the butter is completely incorporated into the graham cracker crumbs for best results!-25 Dec 2002

More collections

Original Magic Bar

If you Google looking for 7 Layer Bar recipes, most of what you will find are bars listing these five basic layers - though many do also add another layer of butterscotch chips - yet they all seem to count the graham crackers and butter as individual layers. Some recipes do melt the butter, and then simply pour the graham crackers on top, rather than mixing and pressing them in, so I guess that's one way to consider them separate layers. Others layer the bars differently, adding the coconut right on top of the graham crackers, some chips and then the coconut, and pouring the sweetened condensed cream on the very top. I really don't think that the order of the layers much matters to be honest.

At any rate, this recipe is the one that I believe to be the original Magic Bar recipe, of which that 7 Layer Bar recipe was apparently birthed. Far as I know, the bars made their debut as Magic Bars on the Eagle brand condensed milk label sometime in the early 1960s, so it is another retro recipe that has been around for many years and has definitely become a holiday tradition, with a multitude of variations.

No matter how you layer them, a graham cracker and butter crust makes the first layer, topped with sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, or a mixture of butterscotch and chocolate chips, a layer of coconut, finished off with pecans, and then baked. Truly, anything after that is just lagniappe for a bar that is already just dreamy. Everyone seems to layer these differently, so it can make for a sticky cookie bar. A layer of aluminum foil or parchment paper in the bottom of the pan is helpful.

I found that a lot of people know these Hello Dollies, a name that appears to have come from a 1965 magazine called "The Week" that featured a recipe submitted by young 11-year old Alecia Leigh Couch of Dallas, Texas, called Hello Dolly Cake, that contained these same basic five ingredients. Alecia said that the recipe was from her grandma, though it appears that an Oklahoma newspaper had earlier that same year, already published Hello dolly Cookies, with similar ingredients. 1

The recipe is also known by a number of other names beside 7-Layer Bars, including 7-Layer Cookies, Chewy Delights, Chocolate Graham Squares, Graham Chips Squares, Washington Cookies, and of course, Magic Bars, and carries a multitude of variations now. Make the white chocolate variation with dried cranberries for Christmas and drizzle the top with raspberry jam.

I have tried a variety of other people's ways of making these, including using foil (it stuck), pouring the condensed milk over the top of everything instead of the crust (crust didn't set, completely changed the texture of the bars as they were too messy and gooey) and I just find that the way I originally made them to be the best way. They are rich, so serve in smaller cuts!

What variations do you love?

For more of my favorite cookies and bars, pop over to my Pinterest page!

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!

Recipe: Original Magic Bars - 7 Layer Bars

Yield: About 24 squares

  • 1-1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs (about 8 planks)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter , melted
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1-1/3 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter mix well. Press crumb mixture firmly on bottom of 13࡯-inch baking pan. For easier removal, line the pan with foil or parchment paper.

Pour condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with remaining ingredients press down firmly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Run a knife around the edge of the pan while still warm to loosen. Cool on a wire rack. Chill if desired to speed up firming. Cut into bars or diamonds. Store covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Hello Dollies Variation: What makes these 7-Layer Bars and I "think" what sets apart Hello Dollies from regular Magic Bars, is the addition of 1 cup of butterscotch chips along with the 1 cup of chocolate chips. All other ingredients are the same, though in some recipes, I have noticed that the graham cracker crumbs and the coconut are reduced. Peanut butter flavored chips or white chocolate chips may also be substituted for butterscotch flavored chips.

Variations: Substitute 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips for butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, or a mixture add 1 cup dried cranberries substitute 2 cups chocolate covered peanuts for the chocolate chips and chopped nuts substitute 2 cups plain M&Ms for the semisweet chocolate chips.

Great holiday idea! Use only white chocolate chips (NO semi-sweet ones), add in some dried cranberries, and drizzle the top with some thinned raspberry jam after baking.

Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

Images and Full Post Content including Recipe ©Deep South Dish. Recipes are offered for your own personal use only and while pinning and sharing links is welcomed and encouraged, please do not copy and paste to repost or republish elsewhere such as other Facebook pages, blogs, websites, or forums without explicit prior permission. All rights reserved.

For my first installation I decided to play around with a Take 5 Bar.

You know the ones, right? They are possibly the most perfect food ever invented.

You’ve got pretzels, peanut butter, caramel, peanut and chocolate.

I wanted to mess with the ingredients in a Take 5 and make them into bars.

Let’s take about these ok…you’ve got a buttery, pretzel crust, topped with a peanut butter filling, topped again with the most delicious homemade caramel sauce mixed with honey roasted peanuts, topped AGAIN with a milk chocolate layer.

Outrageous Seven Layer Bars

These Outrageous Seven Layer Bars are not your ordinary, classic seven layer bar. With chocolate-covered toffee bits in the graham cracker crust, a layer of melted chocolate and LOTS of glorious sweetened condensed milk.

These bars. I don’t even know where to begin.

These Outrageous Seven Layer Bars are your classic seven layer bars on steroids.

I actually had another recipe ready to post today, but after making these the other day, I couldn’t wait to share this recipe.

I took some to my sister and she called me and said “When are you posting those. ”

I think I gained 10 pounds just making and looking at them and then another 10 pounds eating as many as I did. . . .ugh!Seven layer bars have always been one of my favorite bars and why wouldn’t they be?

Graham crackers, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, sweetened condensed milk. . . I’m drooling just typing this.

Now take that classic layer bar and add some ground up chocolate-covered toffee bits into the graham crackers crust, a layer of melted milk chocolate, toasted coconut and TWO CANS of sweetened condensed milk. Yes, I said two. . . . Heaven help me!

I could drink that stuff right from the can!

Two cans of that heavenly, rich, goodness gives these bars a rich butterscotch flavor and chewy texture that is just insanely delicious!Now I am not usually a fan of nuts in cookies. In fact, I have never used nuts when I’ve made the classic Seven-Layer Bars (or magic bars as they’re also called), but I decided to give it a try this time. The recipe talked about how toasting the nuts improves their flavor and texture in these bars, so I thought, why not?!

You can leave out the nuts if you prefer, but they actually didn’t bother me at all in these bars.

As these bake up, there will be spots where the sweetened condensed milk seeps up through and “puddles” up on top (see below. . . YUM!). Holy moly those were my favorite pieces. So just in case you haven’t figured it out by now, I am completely head-over-heels in love with these babies!

I could eat these every. single. day.

I might just have to make these again because today is my birthday and I think I’d rather have these than cake (lol!).

Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups finely ground cookies (12 ounces), such as graham crackers or chocolate wafers, or a combination
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly splash a 15-by-10-inch rimmed baking sheet evenly with water, then line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together cookie crumbs, sugar, and butter until combined. Evenly press onto bottom and up sides of prepared baking sheet. Bake, rotating halfway through, until firm, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack cool, about 20 minutes.

Sprinkle cooled crust evenly with pecans and chocolate. Pour condensed milk over the top, spreading to cover completely (do not let it drip over the edges). Sprinkle with coconut.

Bake until coconut is toasted, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to rack cool completely. Trim edges, if desired, and cut into equal-size bars.

Seven Layer Magic Bars Recipe

Seven Layer Magic Bars &ndash A buttery graham cracker crust is topped with layers of chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, chopped nuts, and then finished off with a blanket of sweetened condensed milk. These will not last long!

Hey y&rsquoall, and Happy Wednesday! Today is an exciting day because my little girl is starting &ldquopreschool&rdquo today!

I put preschool in quotes because the program is technically a Mother&rsquos Day Out Program. But she&rsquoll still be learning stuff, right?!

And mommy gets a break to do more work here on the good ole blog! It&rsquos a win-win for us all!

In celebration, I&rsquom sharing these downright irresistible Seven Layer Magic Bars with y&rsquoall today. I&rsquom telling you right now that you will not be able to stop at just one of these bad boys.

Believe me on this. I&rsquove walked that line already, folks.

These seven layer magic bars actually came about because I needed an quick and easy &ldquothank-you&rdquo treat to give to one of our new neighbors last week.

It all started last Saturday night when I decided to lace up my running shoes and go for my first run since moving into our new house (and really my first run in a couple months OUCH!).

On my way out the door, I realized that I had forgotten my sunglasses and ran back in to grab them off of the kitchen counter, leaving the front door open for mere seconds. I went for my run (which was sooooooooo hot goodness I miss those mild Hawaii temps!) then came back home and started helping my hubby get the kids ready for bed.

Sometime during the bedtime routine we realized that our bulldog Daisy was missing.

We looked for her all over the house, in the backyard, inside of closets, even under all the beds, even though she&rsquos too much of a chunky monkey to fit under any of them!

It was only after searching everywhere in the house that it dawned on me she had gotten out when I had gone for my run!

We grabbed the kids, hopped into our cars, and spent the next hour driving around searching our neighborhood and the surrounding area.

After a good bit of time searching and asking neighbors if they had seen her, it had gotten dark. At that point she had been missing for over two hours.

I was in full blown panic mode because not only is Daisy a bulldog who overheats easily (especially in this blazing Texas heat.) But she is also completely blind in one eye and has extremely limited vision in the other. She&rsquos also a senior citizen.

It was not looking good and I was on the verge of a breakdown. Though I was trying my best to hold it together in front of the kids.

We finally decided to head home and look for ways to post about her missing online. On our way back, I noticed a furry white blur run behind a truck parked in a neighbor&rsquos driveway.

I slowed down and the guy who lived there waved at us as I hopped out. I ran around to the back of the truck and there she was, y&rsquoall, in all of her drooly, wrinkly glory!

She had been with them nearly the entire time she was missing (they had even prevented her from running out into a busy road) and had kept her safe until we found her.

They live on a street just a couple down from ours and I had even passed their house during my run, TWICE! I was so thankful to them for finding her!

I considered making my Oreo Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars or some Butterscotch Banana Bread as a way of saying thank-you to them, but ultimately I decided to make these Seven Layer Magic Bars.

I bet you will have a hard time resisting these little bars of deliciousness.

Especially if you read that whole crazy long story. You totally deserve one now!

As a side note, I normally tend to leave nuts out of recipes because of my son&rsquos allergy. But since he wasn&rsquot going to be eating any of these (they were just for the neighbors and&hellip. ahem&hellip me) I decided to keep them in.

What I Love About This Cherry Custard Pie Bars Recipe

These are really easy to make and produce fabulous custard bars. All of the elements, the custard, crust, and crumble topping are spot-on delicious. For me, this is a gold standard recipe and in my book, never needs to be worked on for improvement.

I love this recipe because it takes all the delicious parts of cherry crisp and transforms it into an easy-to-make crowd-pleasing dessert perfect for any picnic, backyard party, or barbecue.

I adore bar desserts. I feel like they’re so much easier to make than, say cookies. No rolling, scooping or having to switch baking trays. They’re a simple straight forward no-nonsense, easy to put together dessert. Lemon bars, pecan pie bars, pumpkin bars — who can say no to dessert bar treats?? Not me!

Cake Mix Cookie Bars Dessert Recipe

These cake mix cookie bars are rich and delicious, but are so easy and take just a few minutes to assemble. They can be served warm and gooey straight from the oven, or let them cool and serve perfect little bars.

This post was first published in 2013. It’s been updated with brand new images and much more information. Enjoy!

Something I would love to do at some point in my life is sort through and organize the recipes in my recipe box.

Yes…I still have a recipe box, and if you’ve followed me for even a little while, you know it’s full of cards, bits of paper, and pages torn out of magazines.

In that recipe box, is a card for “Almost Candy Bars.” The recipe card is in my handwriting, but the space for “recipe from the kitchen of” says Mom.

Since my mom passed away several years ago, any reminder of her is always a good thing. I wish the card was in my mom’s handwriting, but just the fact that it was her recipe makes it very special. For this post, I renamed her recipe “cake mix cookie bars,” but all the easy ingredients are the same. It takes just a few minutes to assemble, and pop in the oven.

Pink Lemonade Bars

Mouth-puckering and buttery, lemon bars don&rsquot need any improvement. But we went there anyway, transforming the classic dessert into a pretty-in-pink treat that&rsquos worthy of any summer picnic.

The secret isn&rsquot food dye, but raspberry puree, which tames the tart citrus flavor and adds a berry hue. The filling is thickened with flour instead of cornstarch, which means it&rsquos guaranteed to set and won&rsquot become weepy over time. The only trade-off? The surface of the bars won&rsquot be as glassy-smooth&hellipbut you&rsquore topping them with a generous dusting of confectioners&rsquo sugar anyway.

½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted

¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)

⅓ cup all-purpose flour, sifted

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1. Make the Crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with nonstick spray and line it with parchment paper, leaving some overhang.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, confectioners&rsquo sugar and salt. Add the butter and stir to combine just until the dough comes together. (It will be very soft.)

3. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan, and press it into an even layer, working the dough to the edge of the pan with your fingers. Transfer to the oven and bake until the edges are light golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool while you make the filling.

4. Make the Filling: In the bowl of a food processer, puree the raspberries until smooth. Strain the puree through a fine-mesh sieve. (You should end up with about ⅓ cup.)

5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, eggs and lemon juice. Add 3 tablespoons of the raspberry puree and whisk to combine. Stir in the flour and a pinch of kosher salt.

6. Pour the filling over the cooled crust and return to the oven until the filling is set, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool before dusting with confectioners&rsquo sugar and slicing into 16 squares.


I had high hopes for these sweet and salty bars. Sadly, I have to agree with the other reviewers. The potato chip crust just tasted weird. I suspect that there is some type of chemical reaction that happens when you bake the chips into the crust. I remade them with a pretzel crust and topped them with chopped vanilla caramels, chocolate, sweetened coconut and salted cashews, macadamia nuts and almonds. Pretty magic indeed!!

I had high hopes for these sweet and salty bars. Sadly, I have to agree with the other reviewers. The potato chip crust just tasted weird. I suspect that there is some type of chemical reaction that happens when you bake the chips into the crust. I remade them with a pretzel crust and topped them with chopped vanilla caramels, chocolate, sweetened coconut and salted cashews, macadamia nuts and almonds. Pretty magic indeed!!

If you like traditional seven layer bars, you will like these. My husband loved them and my coworkers devoured the plate I brought to work. I am toying with idea of adding butterscotch chips next time, but the recipe is pretty tasty as written.

These are indeed chewy and crunchy and rich, but somehow kind of lackluster. It's just okay. I think Iɽ like them to be MORE salty. I might use the potato chip crust idea in the future, but I probably won't make this recipe again.

I saw this recipe come through in the email this morning and couldn't resist trying out this unique twist on magic bars. As I expected, it is indeed rich. A 2 ½" square is leaving me feeling rather bloated. The potato chip/butter crust is pretty greasy, but even with all those intensely salty and sweet ingredients, it ended up tasting kind of bland! I think the saltiness and sweetness might have cancelled each other out somehow. Weird.

Recipe specifically calls these a "treat." No one is advocating a steady diet of them. Please "review" recipes that you have actually tried. I haven't tried the recipe yet either but felt impelled to respond. I would LIKE to try the recipe and I was looking for actual feedback about it. Instead I saw this.

Are you serious. adding a bunch of salt to counteract all the sugar we shouldn't be feeding our kids in the first place. ( and, no, I didn't make this recipe)


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