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Seven Layer Bars

Seven layer bars are a dessert classic in the Midwest. The treat goes by many names, including magic bars and hello Dolly bars. The popular dessert dates to the mid-1900s and comes from northern European immigrants to the Midwest. Seven layer bars were popularized throughout the country by Betty Crocker cookbooks. The base layer of the dish can be either shortbread or a graham-cracker crust and is topped with chocolate and butterscotch chips, nuts, and coconut for a rich and sweet flavor.

Recipe Servings: 18

Prep Time
15 minutes
+ 2 hours resting
Cook Time
25 minutes
Total Time
2 hours 40 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free


  • Nonstick cooking spray, as needed to grease
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 9 graham crackers, crushed
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped 
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with foil or parchment and grease the top using nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the butter and the graham cracker crumbs, tossing until the butter is evenly distributed.
  4. Spread the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan to form a loose layer.
  5. In order, build layers of pecans or walnuts, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and coconut flakes.
  6. Pour the condensed milk evenly over all.
  7. Bake the bars on the middle oven rack for about 25 minutes, until the top of the dish has become golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 2 hours.
  9. Remove the finished bars from the pan and slice into 3-inch squares with a sharp knife and serve.

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