7 Layer Bars

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The ultimate BEST EVER 7 Layer bars! A super easy and quick ONE DISH dessert! via chelseasmessyapron.com

A classic dessert that is always a hit — 7 Layer Bars with a buttery graham cracker crust, baking chips, and coconut

7 Layer Bars I chelseasmessyapron.comStarting today’s post with a disclaimer that these bars *technically* have 8 layers, but I’m calling them “7 Layer Bars” since they are still pretty traditional 7 Layer “Magic” Bars.

What are the typical Layers in a 7 Layer Bar?

  • Graham Crackers
  • Butter
  • Chocolate chips
  • Butterscotch Chips
  • Chopped Nuts
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Flaked Coconut

So what’s the layer that just HAD to be added to these bars? White chocolate of course! These bars have milk chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, AND white chocolate and they are the best version of any 7 Layer Bar I’ve ever had!

“7 Layer Bars” are another treat (her famous carmelitas here) my mom made often growing up — especially around the holidays. We could always expect these around October-November and had probably too many of them (if that’s even a thing…) in December.

My mom always changed out the baking chips and the nuts she’d include, but she never did white chocolate…because she actually hates white chocolate. But me? I LOVE it. And honestly, I love it even more when it’s paired with milk chocolate. So, for me, these are the ultimate 7 Layer Bars, by becoming 8 layers ๐Ÿ™‚

Besides the actual eating these treats, one of my favorite things about this dessert is it is literally a ONE pan treat. You don’t need any mixing bowls or beaters to make these. The graham cracker crust gets made in the actual pan you’ll bake these bars in! (If you don’t buy pre-crushed graham crackers, you will need a food processor, blender, or ziplock bag + rolling pin to crush them.)

You’ll mix the graham cracker crumbs with a whole delicious stick of melted butter and form the crust right in the pan. And then you just layer up: milk chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, pecans, a can of sweetened condensed milk, and finally the last layer: shredded coconut.

The reason I put the coconut on top of the sweetened condensed milk (as opposed to underneath it), is because I love the texture and taste of it this way! The coconut gets nice and toasted in the oven and even a tiny bit crunchy. Although it might not be your traditional way to make 7 layer bars, it’s my absolute favorite way to enjoy them! One other great thing about these bars? You get a whole lot of bang for your buck — this recipe fills a 9 x 13 pan, but these bars are SO RICH that you’ll want to cut them pretty small. And if you cut these into small bars, you’ll you get dozens of treats from this recipe (perfect for the holidays!).

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7 Layer Bars

5 from 8 votes
A classic dessert that is always a hit -- 7 Layer Bars with a buttery graham cracker crust, baking chips, and coconut.
Print Recipe

7 Layer Bars

5 from 8 votes
A classic dessert that is always a hit -- 7 Layer Bars with a buttery graham cracker crust, baking chips, and coconut.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 1 9 x 13-inch pan
Author Chelsea


  • 1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (measure when crushed into crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 can (14 ounces) FULL FAT sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 and 1/3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper or foil.
  • Place the graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of the pan and pour the melted butter on top. Mix the crumbs and butter together to form a thick mixture and then press evenly into an even layer at the bottom of the pan.
  • Evenly layer the top with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, and chopped pecans. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the nuts. In an even layer, sprinkle the coconut over condensed milk. Gently press down the coconut on top. (Coconut above the sweetened condensed milk allows it to get toasted and delicious!)
  • Bake in preheated oven until the edges are golden brown, about 23-25 minutes. 
  • Remove and allow the dessert to cool completely before cutting them into bars..



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Recipe Rating


  1. Seriously LOVE 7-layer bars, but I’ve never made them with white chocolate before. Great idea. Looking forward to trying this.

    Those look like semisweet chocolate chips to me. You used milk chocolate? Also, do you think it matters about the brand of chips? I have a hard time finding milk chocolate unless it is Ghirardelli.


    1. Yes I used milk chocolate ๐Ÿ™‚ You can use semi-sweet if you are worried about sweetness! I love Ghiradelli and Guittard, but I think pretty much any chips (Nestle or Hershey’s) are good in these since there are so many chips.

    2. 5 stars
      Using the semi-sweet chips is better, they are not as sweet, with milk chocolate they are sickening sweet, semi chips tones it done just fine… these are to die for… large milk with a couple, yum, yum…

  2. If the pecans (or other nuts) were finely crushed, would the flavor still be there without the chunks to chew? Have some family with dental issues.

    1. I think these would still be hard to chew with all of the other ingredients; you might want to try a different dessert entirely. (As a whole these are pretty chewy!) Wish I could be of more help!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve made these 7 layer cookies every Christmas for years as gifts. One friend refers to them as “7 Layer Crack” cookies. A couple of things I do differently–melt the butter in the pan as the oven heats and then dump the graham cracker crumbs on top–saves a bowl. I also put the nuts on top of the milk. Any way you layer these, they are mighty tasty–and more than a little decadent!

  4. 5 stars
    My sister has a lot of dental issues as well, she has been on meds for years that has really done a number on her teeth. I use fine chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, or the thinly sliced almonds. It depends on what they aren’t sold out of on the type of nuts I choose. She eats them with no problems! They all work geart and taste amazing. Hope this helps.

    1. Unfortunately I’ve never tried freezing these bars so I can’t say for sure, but I think it would be ok!

  5. 5 stars
    My family has made these for years, only they were called Magic Cookie Bars, and did not call for white chocolate chips, just semi-sweet or milk chocolate, and butterscotch. My family has always substituted the butterscotch with more chocolate chips, though. These are my all time favorite bar cookie. I have also used fat free sweetened condensed milk with no problems.

  6. You might consider putting the pecans (or walnuts, that’s what I use) as the top layer so you get a toasted nut taste, So much better IMHO.

  7. 5 stars
    I have made these for quite a while. I put the shredded coconut on top also. One thing I have changed a couple times that really turned out delicious was using peanut butter chips instead of white chocolate chips . Mmmm ! Absolutely
    delicious ! Give it a try and see what you think ..
    Let me know ok ??

    1. This sounds awesome! I’ll definitely have to give the peanut butter chips a try! I’m excited!

  8. 5 stars
    I use both semi sweet AND milk chocolate, along with butterscotch and white chocolate. Believe it or not, this chip combo actually makes for a killer chocolate chip cookie as well (I use browned butter which makes for an insanely good cookie).

  9. Is it a half stick of butter or a stick for the seven layer bars the recipe says 1/2 stick but reading what you wrote it says the delicious graham cracker crust gets a full stick

  10. Oh my goodness, I just made this recipe since my husband and I were craving something sweet but easy and boy did it deliver. Iโ€™m definitely going to be making this again – not only for us but probably as potluck dessert as well.

    1. I am so happy you guys loved these 7 layer bars. Thanks so much for your comment Fiorina! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. 5 stars
    I get these odd impulses to experiment in the wee hours & I decided to make my husband’s all-time fav dessert, so here I am! ????
    But..! I split the ingredients in half and made two 8×8 glass pans, lined with foil. The first one was to the letter for your recipe. The second one was tweaked into my “Sugarbomb” version by adding a layer of the little caramel bits, a layer of chopped walnuts and mixing the regular shredded coconut with some toasted & dried large coconut flakes. Both baked for 24 mins @ 350.
    Neither will make it more than a few days! Thank you so much for your recipe!

    1. Haha, you sound just like me! Late night baking impulses. So glad you enjoyed these 7 layer bars! Thanks for your comment Cheri! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Never made them, but I have tasted & eaten them when my mother made them. I loved them. So delicious. So sweet.

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