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If you’re looking for a no-fail, magic cookie bar (also called 7-Layer Bar) recipe that reminds you of your childhood, you’ve come to the right place. These EASY cookie bars are truly magical: a can of condensed milk holds it all together. My recipe is really flexible, too! If you don’t like nuts, or coconut, or even dark chocolate, I’ve got tips for how to adjust to your liking.
7-Layer Magic Bars
Maybe you know them as Hello Dolly Bars, or 7-Layer Magic Bar, or Magic Cookie Bar, “those easy condensed milk bars,” Millionaire Bars (which is very incorrect, as I eventually learned, because this is a proper Millionaire Bar), or (also like me) “those super yummy bars Grandma used to make for Christmas every year.” Either way, they’re essentially all one in the same! 7-layer magic bars are a clever, easy treat recipe that comes together thanks to a can of sweetened condensed milk.
A graham cracker crust is topped with 4 cups of your chosen toppings (have fun with this or use my recipe for a classic option), then “glued” together with a can of condensed milk, baked, chilled, sliced, and enjoyed by one and all.
7-Layer Cookie Bar Ingredients
- 16 ounces of graham crackers (2 boxes of Kinnikinnick graham crackers), processed into crumbs
- ½ cup of butter (8 tablespoons), melted
- 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup of white chocolate chips
- 1 cup of pecan pieces
- 1 cup of coconut flakes, unsweetened
- 1, 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
Ingredient Variations and Modifications
These magic cookie bars are a homerun as-is, but if you’re looking for ingredient swaps, we have ideas for you!
- Use different chips – not a fan of the white chocolate + milk chocolate combo? No worries! Use ANY chips you love here. Peanut butter chips, dark chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips would all be really yummy.
- Use a different nut – if you’re out of pecans or just prefer a different nut, feel free to swap in walnuts, peanuts, or even cashews!
- Make them dairy-free – use sweetened condensed coconut milk in place of the regular sweetened condensed milk and dairy-free chocolate chips if you’re looking to make a dairy-free variation.
- Make them gluten-free – everything we make in the Fed & Fit kitchen is gluten-free, so this adjustment is a really easy one! Simply use gluten-free graham crackers (like we did) in place of regular ones to make this sweet treat gluten-free.
- Make them egg-free – the only thing that contains eggs in this recipe is the kind of graham cracker I used for the crust! Any egg-free cookie will be a great substitute.
How to Make Magic Cookie Bars
These cookie bars are incredibly easy to throw together. It’s really just a matter of making a 2-ingredient graham cracker crust (a super easy 5-minute process), layering on toppings galore, and then baking and cooling until set. Here’s the full run-down:
- Prep – preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.
- Make graham cracker crust – make the graham cracker crust by processing together the graham cracker crumbs and butter, then press into the bottom of the 9×13 pan.
- Add the toppings – sprinkle the toppings (chocolate/white chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut flakes) on top of the crust.
- Pour over the sweetened condensed milk – pour the sweetened condensed milk over top of the toppings.
- Bake – bake the cookie bars for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.
- Serve and enjoy – let the cookie bars cool, then slice, serve, and enjoy!
Tips for Making Magic Cookie Bars
These magic cookie bars could not be ANY easier, but if you’re looking for tips & tricks, we do have a couple!
- Use parchment paper – parchment paper is not a must here, but it does make things a little bit easier. For the least messy results, line your 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper before pressing in your graham cracker crust.
- Make them your own – these cookie bars can be endlessly customized! You’ll really just need 4 cups (total) of mix-ins, so use what you have and have FUN with what you choose. Candy (think: M&Ms) or crushed up cookies would be a really fun addition.
7-Layer Magic Cookie Bars FAQs
You can! Coconut is a pretty common ingredient in these magic cookie bars, but it can absolutely be omitted. As mentioned above, you’ll just need 4 cups total of mix-ins, so you can absolutely swap the coconut for any other topping that you love.
Sure! The answer here is similar to the one above. If you need a nut-free version of these bars, simply swap the 1 cup of nuts for any other mix-in. You’ll just need 4 cups of mix-ins total.
Once the bars are out of the oven, you’ll want to let them cool just a bit, and then stick them in the fridge to set for about 30 minutes. Once they’ve set, you can store them at room temp for up to a week.
You can! Freeze your cookie bars either individually or whole (still in the pan) for up to 3 months. To thaw, either set the pan in the fridge to slowly thaw overnight or thaw an individual magic cookie bar in the fridge overnight or on the counter for an hour or so.
Just for You
Want more recipe ideas like this?
- 16 ounces graham crackers processed into crumbs
- ½ cup butter melted
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 cup pecan pieces
- 1 cup coconut flakes unsweetened
- 1, 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.
- Make the graham cracker crust by processing together the graham cracker crumbs and butter, then press the crust into the bottom of the 9×13 pan.
- Sprinkle the toppings (chocolate + white chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut flakes) on top of the crust.
- Pour the sweetened condensed milk over top of the toppings.
- Bake the cookie bars for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.
- Let the cookie bars cool, then transfer them to the fridge for 30 minutes to set.
- Slice, serve, and enjoy!
I REALLY wanted to love this recipe! It seems so simple but for some reason, both times I’ve tried it, it never looks like the image nor does it hold up. The Graham cracker crust is flaky and doesn’t hold its form. That seems to be the biggest issue, mine “look” thinner and not as thick or “bar-like” as yours. Would love help or advice! This is a fun easy toddler friendly recipe to do with my boys and I want it to work!
Melissa Guevara says
Hi Morgan! We are so sorry to hear that was your experience both times. We’ve made these bars countless times and haven’t run into that problem. It is hard to know exactly what went wrong since we’re not there in the kitchen with you, so makes it a little harder to troubleshoot. If the graham cracker crust is too crumbly, you could try adding a couple more tablespoons of butter and baking it in a smaller dish (if it feels like they’re coming out thinner). We used a standard 9×13 pan, so anything that size or slightly smaller should work. Please let us know when if you try again! -Team FF
Chris P. says
16oz seems like way too much graham cracker. I would use half that maybe.
Amy A says
I also had this same issue and I only used 14.4 oz of graham crackers (that was one box, maybe shrinkflation struck the graham cracker world!). I’m wondering if I didn’t press it down hard enough into the pan? I’ve got the other half of the chips and coconut so I will try it again with more butter, or maybe wetting and crumpling the parchment paper first so it gets a little moisture from top and bottom? Other recipes I’ve made have utilized this technique. Would love to know if anyone else has solved this!
I made these for our annual Christmas cookie bake and they were absolutely delicious! I used sweetened condensed coconut milk and it complimented the bars nicely! I didn’t have any issues with crumbling – the bar held together really well!
Melissa Guevara says
We are so glad to hear that, Emily! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback and experience with us! We really appreciate it. -Team FF