These seven-layer magic bars are a top holiday favorite in my family. My grandma baked these all the time and the individual layers of gooey chocolate and coconut layers really hit the spot when you eat them. The traditional version uses butterscotch chips but I like to switch between white chocolate chips and also dark chocolate chips for a little double chocolate kick.
Srikanth first tasted these seven-layer magic bars when Andrea, my cousin baked them earlier this year. He hasn’t stopped raving about them ever since.
What You’ll Need?
The best part about this recipe is that you don’t need a bazillion items, dishes or tools.
All you ever need is an 8×8 baking dish, pestle and mortar (skip this too if you feel like crushing some graham crackers using your bare hands) and some parchment paper
Pro Tip: If you want your bars to be less thick, then choose a 10×13 baking pan instead. I just prefer my bars to be chunky.
Margarine: My grandma’s recipe actually specified Oleo as the ingredient which is just older slang for margarine. You can also just use butter instead of margarine.
Graham Crackers: My recipe calls for all 8 graham crackers. They’re usually packed in stacks of eight anyway which is great because you won’t have any loose crackers to worry about storing later on.
Coconut Flakes/Shredded Coconut: I used shredded coconut in my recipe because my son prefers it that way. It’s a texture feeling that he doesn’t like. However, you can use any variation of shredded coconut – sweetened or unsweetened.
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: I’ll admit it. This recipe is not really a healthy one. Hence, I like to use Lily’s chocolate chips which helps reduce the sugar content without compromising on the taste or quality. The chocolate chips also hold their consistency really well after baking.
White Chocolate Chips: White chocolate chips are usually more delicate in flavor and don’t overpower the other ingredients.
Nuts (Almonds): I like to use sliced almonds. However, you can use other nuts like pecans or walnuts. I have seen some variations where pistachios are used. Almonds usually work better because they bake well and give a nice crunchy feeling to the bars.
Sweetened Condensed Milk: I love using Eagle Brand. You can use brands found in your country. I think Nestle is most popular. There isn’t much taste difference between either. Just remember that this ingredient isn’t one where you want to use a generic store brand version.
I guess it’s obvious now why they’re called seven-layer magic bars huh? Just add the ingredients in seven layers and you have a decadent dessert/snack that the kids will love in half an hour. Isn’t that a neat magic trick?
How to Make Them?
- Melt ½ cup of margarine (usually a whole stick) and let it cool down a bit.
- Crush the graham crackers using a pestle and mortar. The key is to crush them so that there aren’t any big chunks. You don’t want to go overboard to the point where the crumbs are too fine.
- Mix the crumbs and melted butter until it is well blended.
- Take a baking pan and line it with parchment paper. Now gently press the cracker crumb-butter mixture in the pan so that it forms a well-defined layer. You’re not looking to form a crust so you don’t have to press it flat.
- Sprinkle ½ cup of the shredded coconut over the crumb mixture. Make sure you’re covering the mixture layer completely. Use a spatula to help you smooth the layer. Just don’t pack it in too tight.
- Sprinkle 4oz of semi-sweet chips over the coconut layer (salt bae action here). We’re not looking for a neat layer but for them to be randomly sprinkled.
- Now sprinkle 4oz of the white chocolate chips using the same method as the semi-sweet chocolate chip layer.
- We’re almost done! Sprinkle the nuts over the chocolate chips.
- Now empty a 14oz can sweetened condensed milk over the layers making sure to cover the entire pan. Do it slowly so that the milk has time to seep through gaps in the layers.
- Now sprinkle the remaining 2oz of chocolate chips on top so that you have a well-defined layer. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 325 degrees F.
Pro TIP: Let the baking dish cool outside for about 15mins after it is done baking. I like to place the dish in the freezer for about 10 mins so that it is easier to cut into pieces. Otherwise it will be one big gooey mess. Also don’t forget to remove the parchment paper before cutting.
How to reduce sugar content?
You can use unsweetened version of the condensed milk and shredded coconuts. I also recommend using sugar-free chocolate chips. The recipe tastes just as good with a lot less guilt for you obviously.
These seven-layer magic bars are good for up to a week outside. They can be stored in the freezer for 1-2 months. I’m pretty confident your family will consume it in a couple of days at best.
DATE NIGHT PAIRINGS
Seven Layer Magic Bars
- ½ cup Margarine
- 1½ cups Graham Crackers
- ½ cups Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- 6 oz Lily’s semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 6 oz Lily's white chocolate chips
- 1 cup Sliced Almonds
- 14 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk ,Eagle Brand or Nestle preferred
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper or foil. Set aside.
- Melt ½ cup butter in an 8×8 baking pan and let it cool.
- Crush the graham crackers using a pestle and mortar. Make sure there are no big chunks but do not crush to a fine powder.
- Melt ½ cups of butter and let it cool down for a few minutes. Add the crumb mixture and butter to the baking dish. Mix with a fork until it is crumbly.
- Spread the crumb butter mixture so that it forms a neat layer in the pan. You’re not looking to form a crust so you don’t have to press it flat.
- Add ½ cup of shredded coconut over the crumb butter mixture making sure to fully cover it
- Add semi-sweet chocolate chips in a random manner over the coconut layer. Now add 4oz of white chocolate chips.
- Sprinkle 1 cup of almonds over the chocolate chips.
- Pour the condensed milk evenly over the entire dish. Let it settle and then add the remainder of your chocolate chips
- Bake for 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Cool the pan in a wire rack for about 1 hour before cutting into desired portions.