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Seven Layer Bars

Seven layer bars are the ultimate easy sweet treat! A buttery graham cracker base is layered with sweetened condensed milk, coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch, and nuts for bars that are chewy, crunchy, and supremely decadent.

Seven layer bars stacked on white platter

Seven layer bars are a classic. Like peanut butter blossoms, fudge brownies, and M&M cookies, they seem to show up at every bake sale and everyone has their own go-to recipe—maybe some skip the coconut, others might use peanut butter chips instead of butterscotch, but they’re all built around that same idea of layering a graham cracker crust with sweetened condensed milk and a variety of toppings.

Why You’ll Love This 7 Layer Bars Recipe

  • Easy. Despite the name, there aren’t seven layers in these bars—there are seven ingredients. The graham cracker base is a distinct layer, but everything else gets a little jumbled together in a single layer of deliciousness. The sweetened condensed milk bakes up thick and sticky, holding everything together.
  • So delicious. Each bite has different textures and flavors; smooth and crunchy, sweet and salty, decadent and, well, decadent. (Trust me when I tell you that one of these bars is quite enough. They’re richer than they look!) 
  • Quick. Did I mention that it all comes together in around 30 minutes? There’s that, too!
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overhead view of ingredients for seven layer bars

Ingredient Notes

Here’s a quick look at what you’ll need to make 7 layers bars. Scroll down to the recipe card for a printable list of ingredients and instructions.

  • Graham cracker crumbs – It’s easiest to use store-bought graham crumbs, but you can also make your own by pulsing whole graham crackers in your food processor.
  • Unsalted butter – Learn more: Unsalted or Salted Butter: Which is Better for Baking?
  • Sweetened condensed milk – This is not the same as evaporated milk, which is unsweetened.
  • Sweetened shredded coconut – If you happen to have unsweetened coconut on hand, you can use that instead of sweetened coconut in this recipe. These bars are still plenty sweet, so you’re unlikely to miss the added sweetness of the coconut.
  • Semisweet chocolate chips
  • Butterscotch chips
  • Chopped nuts – Pecans and walnuts are popular choices.
Stack of 4 seven layer bars with parchment paper between each

How to Make Seven Layer Bars

As mentioned above, seven layer bars come together quite easily and quickly. That must be why some people call them magic cookie bars!

  • Prep your tools. Preheat your oven and lightly grease your baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper and then lightly grease the paper.
  • Make the graham cracker crust. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter.
  • Add to your pan. Press the mixture into the bottom of your pan. Make sure it’s spread evenly so there aren’t some areas that are thicker than others.
  • Add the condensed milk. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the graham cracker crust, distributing it evenly. 
  • Finish the layers. Sprinkle the coconut over the top of the milk, followed by the butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, and nuts. Press down gently to help all the toppings stick.
  • Bake. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the bars are golden brown.
  • Cool, cut, and serve. Let the bars cool completely, then use the lining to lift the bars out of the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut them into squares.

Tips for Success

Read over my baking tips for beginners if you’re new to baking, then read over these additional tips for perfect seven layer bars:

  • Make sure everything is evenly distributed. This way, you’ll get all those different textures and flavors in every bite. It’s especially important to ensure that the condensed milk is spread over the whole crust since it’s what holds the toppings in place.
  • Let the bars cool completely before cutting. It’s hard to be patient when you’re staring at a warm pan of seven layer bars, but the bars are likely to crumble and fall apart if they’re cut too soon.
  • Get perfect clean cuts. The seven layer bar toppings will begin to stick to the knife as you cut; when you go to make your next cut, the crumbs and toppings will fall off onto the bars, which isn’t the clean, crisp look you want. To keep this from happening, wipe your knife between cuts.
Stack of 4 seven layer bars with parchment paper between each


There are endless variations when it comes to seven layer bars. You can make them without coconut and use old-fashioned oats instead. Have a nut allergy? Omit the nuts or use sunflower seeds or broken pretzel pieces instead. Use chocolate crumbs instead of graham, toffee bits instead of butterscotch chips—basically, as long as you keep the original proportions the same, the world is your oyster.

How to Store

  • Counter: Store seven layer bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. 
  • Freezer: Wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Thaw the bars at room temperature before serving.

More Classic Bar Recipes

Seven Layer Bars

Yield 24 2-inch bars
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Seven layer bars are the ultimate easy sweet treat! A buttery graham cracker base is layered with sweetened condensed milk, coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch, and nuts for bars that are chewy, crunchy, and decadent.

Seven layer magic bars stacked on platter


  • 1 & 1/2 cups (150g) graham cracher crumbs
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 14 ounces (397g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup (85g) sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup (170g) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (170g) butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup (120g) chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" x 2" baking pan. If you like, line with parchment paper and lightly grease the paper.
  2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until thoroughly combined. Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top of the crust.
  4. Sprinkle the coconut over the top of the milk, followed by the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and nuts. Press down gently.
  5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until the bars are golden brown.
  6. Place the pan on a wire rack, and allow the bars to cool completely.
  7. Use the lining to lift the bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Cut into bars.

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    8 Comments on “Seven Layer Bars”

  1. I made this Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bar recipe the other night and it was an absolute hit with my family! The combination of the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and coconut is irresistible. I loved using the graham cracker crust for a buttery, toasty flavor that complemented the sweetness of the other layers nicely. They were delicious! And guess what? We have a new favorite midnight snack!

  2. I want to ship them to a friend.How do I pack them?

    • Hi, Eileen. Gooey bars like these can be a bit tricky to ship. You could try wrapping them very well and placing in an airtight container with layers of parchment between the layers. If you have something to place inside the container to absorb moisture (like silica gel packs or even a piece of bread), that might be beneficial. I would probably also wrap the container in another layer of plastic wrap or foil before placing in the shipping box. For best results, you would also need to use expedited shipping so the bars don’t take too long to get to their destination.

  3. I have had this exact recipe for over 50 years and my whole family loves it! My method is a little different. I put my 9×13 pan with 1/4 cup of butter in the oven as it is heating up until the butter is almost melted. Take pan out and sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the melted butter, then layer chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut and nuts. Then I pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top and bake. They come out amazing every time. The best part is when I slice off the hardened edges that are so delicious and caramelized. Either way, a delicious recipe!

  4. Both of my kids are allergic to coconut, can anyone suggest an alternative? Can I just leave it out or is it a binder in and way?

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