7 Layer Bars

An old fashioned dessert that has stood the test of time. Chewy 7 layer bars with a sweet cream glazed baked on top. Perfect for an easy dessert!

The recipe I’m sharing today is a classic. It’s a cookie bar recipe with many names. Magic Bars. Seven Layer Bars. Hello Dolly Bars. This easy dessert recipe is one you’ll want to keep close for when you need something quick.

7 Layer Bars originated in the 1960’s from the Southern Living magazine as I understand. But the recipe has been well loved and tweaked over the years by countless families.

stack of 7 layer cookie bars

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Only 7 ingredients. And it could be less if you tweak the ingredient list slightly.
  • Easy bar cookie. I mean it’s 10 minutes prep time. Gotta love that!
  • Full of chocolate and butterscotch flavor, with crunch from pecans.
  • Perfect for potlucks, school lunches, and passing along to friends.
overhead view of cookie bars

What are 7 layer bars?

You’ll sometimes see this recipe with only 5 or 6 layers, but traditionally there are 7 layers:

  • Graham crackers
  • Butter
  • Chocolate chips
  • Butterscotch chips
  • Coconut
  • Pecans
  • Sweetened condensed milk

There are recipe variations further down, but these are the basic layers.

How to Make 7 Layer Bars

Make the bars in a 9×13 baking pan that you’ve lined with parchment paper. This allows you to easily remove the bars and cut them into clean slices. It’s not 100% necessary, but I recommend it.

  • Place the butter into a microwave safe bowl. Using the microwave, melt the butter.
  • Add the crushed graham cracker crumbs to the butter and stir slightly to mix.
  • Press the graham cracker crumbs into the pan evenly.
  • Sprinkle on the butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, coconut and walnuts.
  • Then drizzle the condensed milk over top.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
overhead view of cut seven layer bars

How to Store

These are safe to store at room temperature. You might wonder because they have milk, but sweetened condensed milk and butter is baked, so no refrigeration is needed.

Store the bars in an airtight container. Put layers of parchment or wax paper between the layers so that they don’t stick together.

Can you freeze 7 layer bars? Yes. They store well for up to 2 months in the freezer. They are AMAZING frozen. Actually they are delicious any way you serve them. Even slightly warmed.

Recipe Variations

  • Use chocolate graham crackers or even cinnamon graham crackers. Low fat crackers work just as well also.
  • Any type of chocolate chips work. White chocolate, dark chocolate, even peanut butter chips.
  • Sweetened or unsweetened coconut will work.
  • Use almonds or walnuts if you don’t have pecans.
stack of coconut cookie bars
stack of coconut cookie bars

7 Layer Bars {Hello Dolly Bars}

5 from 1 vote
An old fashioned dessert that has stood the test of time. Chewy 7 layer bars with a sweet cream glazed baked on top. Perfect for an easy dessert!
Servings 15
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 1/2 cup butter 1 stick
  • 2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs finely ground, do not pack into the cup
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit.
  • Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray, then line with parchment paper. (You spray the pan to help hold the paper down in place.)
  • Place the butter into a microwave safe bowl. Using the microwave, melt the butter.
  • Add the crushed graham cracker crumbs to the butter and stir slightly to mix.
  • Press the graham cracker crumbs into the pan evenly.
  • Sprinkle on the butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, coconut and walnuts.
  • Then drizzle the condensed milk over top.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Allow the bars to cool, then cut into squares.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the bars being cut into 15 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 241mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 281IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 2mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 393
Keyword chocolate dessert, cookie bars, vintage

Frequently Asked Questions

Are these bars gluten free?

If you use gluten free graham crackers, this will be a gluten free dessert.

Can I make these bars in advance?

Yes. You can make these bars 1-2 days in advance. They will stay chewy and soft. If you are making them in advance, store them in the refrigerator.

Other Magic Bar Recipes

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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