7 Layer Bars
7 Layer Bars have always been a classic, go-to treat in our home. A buttery graham cracker crust is topped with the most delicious ingredients such as chocolate and butterscotch chips, shredded coconut, walnuts, and sweetened condensed milk. These gooey bars are completely irresistible!
Why This Recipe Works
- Packed with texture and flavor. If I had to select a favorite dessert bar recipe, it would be this 7 layer bars recipe! I love the variety of textures and flavors. I’m a huge coconut and nut fan, so having coconut and nuts in this recipe is a big deal! Each of the ingredients (or layers) adds a new texture and flavor. It’s the best!
- Easy dessert recipe. I love this recipe because it is so easy to make! You don’t have to worry about making a batter or using room temperature ingredients or anything. You just layer on the ingredients one by one and bake! It’s probably why this bars are also referred to as 7 layer magic bars!
- Butter: The butter is probably the layer that will skip your mind. The butter is included as one of the layers so don’t let the 7 layer number confuse you when you count the ingredients!
- Crushed Graham Crackers: I like to use a food processor to crush the graham crackers into a fine crumb. You can also place the graham crackers in a large Ziplock bag and roll a rolling pin over the bag until the crackers are crushed.
- Shredded (Sweetened) Coconut: The sweetened coconut will give you a more dessert like taste from the coconut, but if you want to use unsweetened as a way to cut down on the sweet, go for it! These 7 layer bars are really sweet and incredibly indulgent so if you’re looking for a healthy dessert, I’d recommend my Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls instead. 😊
- Butterscotch Chips: The butterscotch chips adds such a fun new flavor element to these bars. If you aren’t a fan, you can replace them with white chocolate chips or even peanut butter chips if you’d like! If you love butterscotch chips, then be sure to try my Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies!
- Chopped Walnuts: You don’t have to use walnuts. Feel free to substitute your favorite nut. Pecans would be great, or even sliced almonds. If you have a nut allergy, eliminate the nuts altogether.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: The sweetened condensed milk adds a delicious sweetness to the dish, but it also binds all the ingredients together as the bars bake.
- Make the graham cracker crust. Melt the butter then add the crushed graham crackers and stir until combined. Press the mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish.
- Add the coconut. Sprinkle the shredded coconut on top of the graham cracker.
- Add the chips. Sprinkle the butterscotch and chocolate chips on top of the shredded coconut layer.
- Add the nuts. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts on top of the butterscotch and chocolate chips.
- Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk. Pour the sweetened condensed milk overtop, trying to cover the entire pan.
- Bake. Bake the bars at 350°F for about 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
Keep in mind, this recipe is merely a guide. If you want to eliminate an ingredient or replace it with something, feel free to do so! I’ve seen people add white chocolate chips to their 7 layer bars, or even 2 different nut varieties.
Be creative and have fun with this one! I know many people prefer the layer bars without coconut (namely, my husband being one of them), so if you fall into this category, simply eliminate the coconut from the recipe. If you have a nut allergy, remove the nuts! My husband prefers this dessert without the nuts; if I’m feeling extra generous I’ll leave him a small corner free of nuts. 😊
You don’t have to add the ingredients in the order I do! Once the graham cracker crust is made, you can add the chocolate chips, nuts, and coconut in any order you’d like!
A new ingredient you could add is crushed heath bits (or if you are a heath fan, try my Crumbl Chocolate Cake ft. Heath Cookies!).
A trick to make melting the butter easier is to place the butter in the 9×13-inch inch pan you’ll be using and then pop the pan into the oven while it’s preheating. Once the butter is fully melted, remove the pan from the oven and stir the graham cracker crumbs directly in the pan! Anything to not dirty another bowl right?
I like to use a flat bottom cup or a large measuring cup to level the crumbs. My graham cracker crust recipe post illustrates this concept.
If you want the coconut to be toasted, place it on right before drizzling the condensed milk. I like putting the shredded coconut on the bottom so they don’t flake off as easily.
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
Store the bars in an airtight container. They will keep at room temperature for 4-5 days or in the refrigerator for 1 week.
To freeze, let the bars cool completely and then cut them into squares. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap and store in a Ziplock bag in the freezer. They will keep up to 2 months in the freezer. Remove an let come to room temperature before enjoying.
The layers are butter, graham cracker crumbs, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, chopped walnuts and sweetened condensed milk.
Yes you can! If you’d prefer 7 layer bars without coconut, you can either omit it altogether or use something else instead. I’ve heard that using oats instead of coconut can provide a similar texture as the coconut would.
Nope! My sister-in-law is allergic to walnuts, so we would make it with pecans. It’s just as good! Feel free to use whatever nuts you like, or remove them altogether if you’d prefer.
More Delicious Brownie/Bars Recipes
7 Layer Bars
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the butter in a 9″ x 13″ inch pan. Place the pan in the oven while the oven is preheating. * Once the butter is fully melted remove the pan from the oven and set aside.
- Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the melted butter. Using a spoon, mix the graham cracker crumbs into the butter. Once combined, press the graham cracker mixture into an even layer in the bottom of the 9"x13" pan.
- Sprinkle the shredded coconut evenly over the graham cracker crust.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the coconut.
- Evenly distribute the butterscotch chips over the chocolate chips.
- Sprinkle the chopped walnuts over the butterscotch chips. **
- Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over the entire pan and its contents, being careful not to let all of it pool in one area.
- Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Or until the edges are slightly browned. Remove from oven. Let cool. I let mine cool at room temp for a bit, then pop it into the fridge to speed up the setting process. Once the bars are set, eat and enjoy!
This recipe was originally published on Nov. 17, 2019. It was republished on March 1, 2022, to include additional information and photos.