Magic cookie bars are easy, crunchy, chewy bars made with layers of a buttery graham cracker crust, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, shredded coconut, nuts, and pumpkin seeds. Also known as Seven Layer Bars or Hello Dolly Bars, they are a crowd favorite and perfect for sharing!
Magic Cookie bars are the easiest dessert you can make. All you need to do is layer the ingredients and bake and there you have a delicious sweet treat ready!
This magic bar recipe uses plenty of healthy ingredients, like flaxseed meal, nuts, and pumpkin seeds, to make these bars a more wholesome sweet.
These 7 layer bars are always a hit and have something for everyone with their delicious layers of flavors. Their texture has crunch and chew in perfect harmony! It’s a sweet bite that will leave you wanting more!
The best part is they are easy to make, so let yourself succumb to the spell of these Magic Cookie Bars! Warning these are totally addictive!!
If you are looking for a more healthier version, try these Chocolate chip granola bars.
What Are Magic Cookie Bars
Magic Cookie Bars are these easy dessert bars made with 7 layers of 7 ingredients and hence they are also known as 7-layer bars or Hello Dolly bars.
Traditionally these bars are made by layering all the ingredients in a single layer like graham crackers, butter, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, and nuts.
But I prefer to mix the coconut, nuts, and chocolate chips together and sprinkle that as a layer. But you could totally do the single-layer option too.
In addition to the classic magic bar ingredients, I also add some flaxseed meal to the crust and additional nuts and seeds along with chocolate for a healthy spin. It’s a great way to sneak a little good into your bars without compromising flavor or texture.
These magic bars are easy to make and turn out crunchy, chewy, and gooey. This is a kitchen sink-style dessert that has everything you want!
They are perfect as school or after-school snacks for kids or adults. They are the perfect dessert for a potluck, party, picnic, or just to enjoy with your family.
Butter - I use unsalted butter for this recipe. Salted butter can be used too. Melted butter helps hold the crust of these cookie bars together.
Graham crackers - Mildly sweet graham crackers make the perfect base for these cookie bars. I use plain graham crackers but you can mix it up by subbing in a flavored graham cracker, like cinnamon too. The graham crackers will be crushed into fine crumbs so they bind well with butter, so this is a great time to use up any broken squares!
Flaxseed meal - It is made of finely ground flax seeds. This is an optional ingredient but I like adding this to the base along with graham cracker to boost the nutritional value. It is easily available in the baking aisle or in the health supplement section of your local grocery store.
Condensed Milk - I use Sweetened condensed milk. It is another key ingredient that helps sweeten and bind these bars together. Don't substitute it with evaporated milk as condensed milk is thick and sweeter than evaporated milk.
Shredded coconut: I use sweetened shredded coconut for this recipe. Unsweetened shredded coconut can be used too. Shredded coconut gives the bars their signature texture and an amazing flavor. They will remind you of the almond joy bars.
Chocolate chips: I use a combination of semi-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips for the best flavor. You can use milk chocolate or dark chocolate or peanut butter chips. You can tweak the ratios of each chip to suit your taste.
Nuts & Seeds: I have used walnuts, almonds, cashews, and chopped them roughly. If you do not like walnuts, swap them for pecans. Along with nuts I added sprouted pumpkin seeds which are good source of magnesium, protein, zinc and iron. I prefer adding more nuts and seeds to this bar for crunch and added nutrition.
Please refer to the recipe card for exact measurements of ingredients.
How To Make Magic Cookie Bars (Step-by-Step Method)
1 - Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray and line it with parchment paper. Set aside.
2 to 4 - Place the graham cracker slabs in a zip-lock bag and use a rolling pin to crush them into fine crumbs. You can also do this in a food processor.
5 to 8 - In a bowl, add the chocolate chips (semi-sweet, white, butterscotch), chopped nuts (walnuts, cashews, almonds), and sweetened shredded coconut. Mix well. Keep aside.
Making Magic Cookie Bars
9 - In a bowl, add the graham cracker crumbs, and flax-seed meal.
10 & 11 - Pour the melted butter over and mix until well combined. The crumbs should hold shape when pressed together.
12 - Transfer to a lined baking pan and spread evenly. Press firmly to the bottom of the pan using a spatula or the back of a measuring cup.
13 - Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the pressed crumb crust.
14 - Sprinkle the coconut, nuts, and chocolate chip mixture evenly over the condensed milk and press down firmly with the back of the measuring cup.
15 - Bake for 25 - 30 mins or until edges are golden brown.
16 - Cool completely in the pan. Lift the entire slab holding the parchment paper and place it on a cutting board. Cut into squares of the desired length. I usually cut it into 24 small squares.
Serve these delicious Magic cookie bars as a dessert or snack with your tea or coffee! My kids love it in their lunch box as a treat and they make a great on-the-go snack too!
My other favorite way is to warm the bars for a few seconds in the microwave until they are warm and gooey. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and enjoy a delicious dessert!
Magic cookie bars are great for cookie swaps and holiday giveaways too. They hold up well when left on the counter and their complex layers have something for everyone.
You can store these Magic bars in an air-tight container for 1-2 days, in the fridge for 1-2 weeks, and freeze for up to 2 months. Make sure to cool them completely before storing them.
Storing the bars in the refrigerator may make them slightly harder or chewier. They are still delicious. If you prefer a softer chew, warm them in the microwave for a few seconds or leave them on the countertop for some time.
Line the baking pan with parchment paper such that there is an extra piece of paper that folds over the pan. This extra parchment paper acts as a handle and makes it easy to pick and remove the entire bar slab out of the pan and place it on the cutting board.
Make sure to crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs. You can do this using a rolling pin (fun activity for kids to do) or use a food processor (makes it easy, quick, and effortless).
Mix the butter and crumbs until they are well combined and moistened. If you press the mixture between your palm it should hold shape.
Press the crumbs firmly into the pan. Use a spatula and/or the back of a measuring cup to pack tightly and level the crust.
Pour the condensed milk evenly and don't try spreading it with a spoon or spatula. Chances are you may pull off the crumbs layer.
I prefer to mix the coconut, nuts, and chocolate chips together and then add them. But you could also layer these individually in any order of your preference.
This recipe is very adaptable and ingredients can be adjusted to your liking.
You can use the chocolate chips of choice and tweak the ratios of each chip to suit your taste. If you don’t love white chocolate use a little more butterscotch or semi-sweet and vice versa. You can swap the semi-sweet for dark chocolate for an interesting dark take.
If you don't prefer nuts, skip and swap for other nuts you like or more coconut or chocolate. You can also use unsweetened shredded coconut or omit it altogether.
Allow the magic bars to cool completely before slicing. Cutting them while they are warm will result in a gooey mess. You can refrigerate for a few hours to expedite the cooling which will firm up the bars and result in clean slices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can make these 7 layer bars without coconut. Just skip it or replace it with peanuts, or nuts of choice, or chocolate chips.
To make vegan magic bars, use honey-free graham crackers, vegan butter, and vegan sweetened condensed milk. The rest of the recipe and process remains the same.
More Cookie Recipes
I hope you enjoy this Magic Cookie Bars recipe !! If you try this recipe, please rate it by clicking stars ⭐️ on the recipe card. Thank you ❤️! You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see what’s cooking in my kitchen!!
Magic Cookie Bars
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs 10-12 cracker slabs
- ½ cup flaxseed meal
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup nuts chopped, using a mix of walnuts, almonds and cashews
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup butterscotch chips
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds sprouted, optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray and line it with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place the graham cracker slabs in a zip-lock bag and using a rolling pin crush them into fine crumbs. You can also do this in a food processor.
- In a bowl, add the chocolate chips (semi-sweet, white, butterscotch), chopped nuts (walnuts, cashews, almonds), and sweetened shredded coconut. Mix well. Keep aside.
Making Magic Cookie Bars
- In a mixing bowl bowl, add the graham cracker crumbs, and flax-seed meal.
- Pour the melted butter over and mix until well combined. The crumbs should hold shape when pressed together.
- Transfer to a lined baking pan and spread evenly. Press firmly to the bottom of the pan using a spatula or the back of a measuring cup.
- Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the pressed crumb crust
- Sprinkle the coconut, nuts, and chocolate chips mixture evenly over the condensed milk and press down firmly with the back of the measuring cup.
- Bake for 25 - 30 mins or until edges are golden brown.
- Cool completely in the pan. Lift the entire slab holding the parchment paper and place it on a cutting board. Cut into squares of the desired length. I usually cut it into 24 small squares.
- Serve these delicious Magic cookie bars as a dessert or snack with milk, tea or coffee!
Update Notes: This post was originally published on Jul 23, 2014, but was republished with, step-by-step instructions, new photos, tips, and a video in Dec of 2022.