These delicious 7 layer bars combine a graham cracker crust, chocolate chips, nuts, and coconut for a chewy and sweet bar everyone will love! An old-fashioned recipe with seven layers and an explosion of amazing flavors in every bite!
I love creating brand new recipes, but I also love the classics. Like good old fashioned cream cheese sugar cookies. And homemade chex mix. And pizza loaf.
There’s just something about nostalgic old-fashioned recipes that make them taste amazing.
These 7 layer bars are a classic recipe that you may have tried before at a party or maybe you’ve even made them before. The recipe has been around for a long time, and I’m excited to be sharing my take on it today!
There’s a reason they’ve been popular for years! Whether you call them Hello Dolly Bars, seven layer bars, or seven layer magic bars – they’re still delicious!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Super easy – this recipe couldn’t get any easier. You literally just put all the ingredients into the baking dish and bake.
- Graham cracker crust – unlike the sweet graham cracker crust in striped delight that’s sweet, the crust in these seven layer bars has a tiny bit of saltiness added to it. The saltiness combines perfectly with the sweet layers on top of it.
- Versatile – use the same base recipe and you can change things up – use different types of chocolate chips, use different nuts, etc.
- Pecans – The chopped pecans can be substituted with other nuts if you prefer something else. Or you can leave them out all together if you’re not a nut fan. They do add a nice crunch to this recipe that’s otherwise pretty soft though, so I do recommend them.
- Butterscotch + chocolate chips – if you keep the same measurements, you can use any combination of chips you want. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch, etc. The classic flavor combination is the chocolate + butterscotch.
- Shredded coconut – make sure your coconut is sweetened!
- Graham cracker crumbs – the amount of graham cracker crumbs needed for this recipe is about equal to six graham crackers if you want to make your own crumbs.
I mentioned it already but one of the reasons I love this recipe most is that it’s super easy to make and it’s pretty much fool-proof. If you can pour things in a pan and remember to take the pan out of the oven, you can make these seven layer bars!
The first thing you want to do is line a square (8×8 or 9×9 works) baking dish with parchment paper. Technically you could make these without the parchment paper, but it makes them WAY easier to get out and cut with the parchment paper.
The parchment paper also keeps the graham cracker crust from sticking to the pan. You’ll just lift the parchment paper out when you’re done – paper, bars, and all.
Next you’re going to make your graham cracker crust. Mix the butter, graham cracker crumbs, and salt together until fine crumbs form.
Now it’s time to turn that into your crust. Pour the graham cracker crumbs over the parchment paper in your pan. Try to spread them out the best you can while pouring.
After they’re all poured in, spread them out to cover the parchment paper, then press down lightly to create a crust.
Pour the entire can of sweetened condensed milk over the graham cracker crust, trying to cover the entire crust if possible.
If you don’t cover the entire crust, you can either use a spatula to lightly spread it out (don’t press hard or you’ll bring up the graham cracker crust with it), or pick up and dish and lean it to an angle to allow the liquid to move around until the crust is all covered.
Sprinkle half the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and pecans over the milk layer.
Add the coconut on top of the chips trying to spread it out as evenly as possible. The goal for all of these layers is to make sure that every bite has all layers of flavor!
Finish by adding the rest of the chips and pecans on top.
Once you have your final layer on, gently press the bars down. This will help everything stick together better while baked.
Bake the 7 layer bars for 25 minutes. The top will be a golden brown, the chips will be melted, and the center should still be slightly wiggly. It’ll solidify as the bars cool.
Grab the parchment paper to pull the bars out and move the entire paper with the bars to a wire rack to cool.
Let the bars cool completely before slicing and enjoying!
Make your own graham cracker crumbs by adding graham cracker crumbs into a food processor and letting the processor run until you have fine crumbs. This recipe needs about six regular size graham crackers.
Double the recipe by doubling the ingredients and baking this in a 9×13 pan instead of 8×8. The layers will be a little thicker, but that only makes it even more delicious!
Mix it up. Try out different chip combinations or different nuts using the same base recipe.
Store any leftover bars in an airtight container and enjoy within five days.
7 layer bars do not need to be refrigerated. Since the dairy items (sweetened condensed milk and butter) have been baked, they do not need to be refrigerated.
Seven layer bars are best eaten within five days. Store in an airtight container and they should stay soft and delicious.
Seven layer bars are made by layering different ingredients to create a layered bar dessert. Seven ingredients (plus salt), seven layers.
More Easy Treats
If you like these 7 layer bars, you’ll love these other yummy treats!
- Chocolate dipped rice krispie treats – an upgrade on typical rice krispy treats that’ll make you never wan to go back to the classic.
- Red velvet cookies – soft and chewy red velvet cookies with white chocolate chips!
- Brownie balls – brownie mix combined with chocolate frosting and dipped in chocolate, a total chocolate lover’s dream!
- Sugar cookie bites – classic sugar cookies that are adorable and delicious!
- Rolo cookies – chocolate chip cookie dough wrapped around a chocolate and caramel Rolo candy, these are to die for!
7 Layer Bars
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs 6 graham crackers
- 4 TBS salted butter melted
- ¼ tsp salt
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup butterscotch chips
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ¾ cup sweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine crumbs, melted butter, and salt in a small bowl. Mix until throughly combined.
- Pour the crumbs to the prepared pan and use either your hands or the bottom of a flat glass to press the crumbs down evenly to cover the bottom of the pan and create your crust.
- Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crust.
- Sprinkle half the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and chopped pecans over the milk.
- Add all of the shredded coconut on top of the chips and pecans.
- Cover the cover with the rest of the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and pecans. Lightly press down the bars.
- Bake for 25 minutes then remove from the oven. The top should be golden brown and the center should still wiggle slightly.
- Remove parchment paper with bars and place on top of a wire cooling rack. Allow bars to cool completely before slicing and serving.
Tips & Notes:
- Chopped pecans be substituted with another nut or omitted completely
Post Update: This post was originally written with a different seven layer bars recipe in 2016. The recipe has been totally rewritten and updated since.
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