7 Layer Bars
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7 Layer Bars have always been a classic, go-to treat in our home. A buttery graham cracker crust lays the ground work for the decadent toppings: chocolate & butterscotch chips, shredded coconut, walnuts, and sweetened condensed milk. These gooey bars are incredibly sweet and 1000% irresistible!
I love a great brownie/bars recipe. A few of my favorites include:
- Cosmic brownies – so much better than the store bought Little Debbie’s!
- Cinnamon Sugar Caramelitas – one reader said these are her husbands absolute favorite dessert.
- Nutella Brownies – crackly topped brownies loaded with Nutella!
But if I had to select a favorite dessert bar recipe it would be 7 layer bars. 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!
Ingredients for 7 Layer Bars
- 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
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips – my favorite brand to use is Ghirardelli. If you don’t like semi-sweet chocolate you can use milk chocolate chips instead.
- Butterscotch chips
- 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
How to make 7 Layer Bars
Melt butter. Pro tip: place the butter in the 9″x13″ 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… ta-da! Melted butter (without dirtying a bowl).
Add the crushed graham crackers to the pan of melted butter. Use a spoon to mix the butter and graham cracker crumbs together. Once the crumbs are evenly combined with the butter, use the spoon to spread the crumbs into an even layer along the bottom of the pan.
Pro tip: 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.
Note: you can add the remaining ingredients in any order. If you want the coconut to be toasted, place it on right before drizzling the condensed milk.
Once the crust is done, sprinkle the shredded coconut over the graham cracker layer, then dd semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Sprinkle butterscotch chips over the chocolate chips.
Add the chopped walnuts over the chocolate and butterscotch chips.
If you have a nut allergy, forgo this step. My husband prefers this dessert without the nuts; if I’m feeling extra generous I’ll leave him a small corner free of nuts. 😊
Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over everything.
Bake the bars for about 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool completely before cutting.
Store the bars in an airtight container. They will keep at room temperature for 4-5 days or in the refrigerator for 1 week.
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!
These 7 layer bars have been a favorite dessert of mine since I was 5 years old. I remember my mom making these 7 layer bars around Christmas one year and I got so flaming mad when my older brothers devoured the entire pan without me. Don’t be like my brothers (😂), share the
love 7 layer bars.
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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 post was first published on February 9, 2018 and was updated November 16, 2019 with new pictures and more recipe details.