Coconut Peanut Butter Magic Cake Bars

Recently I was asked by FoodBuzz to become a Brand Ambassador for Frigidaire. My first task was to highlight one of my favorite recipes for spring.

These bars are what I came up with. Gooey enough for you?

That’s a yellow cake base, topped with coconut flakes, butterscotch and chocolate chips, and the whole thing is drizzled with a peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk mixture.

When they baked, the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk formed a “shell” over the top layer, but it’s a very delicate shell.

It’s silky and smooth, not sticky.

The sticky is inside these babies.

When you sink your teeth into one, you may want to channel your inner Dorothy and break out into, “Somewhere over the rainbow, Skies are blue, And the dreams that you dare to dream, Really do come true.”

Yes, the dream I dared to dream did come true.

Somewhere over the rainbow, call The Wizard, and tell him these are keepers.

 

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Coconut Peanut Butter Magic Cake Bars

Makes 24 bars

1 box yellow cake mix

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon water, optional if necessary

1 cup shredded sweetened coconut flakes

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup butterscotch chips (or white chocolate chips or peanut butter chips)

1 can (14-ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a 9-by-13 inch pan by lining it with aluminum foil and then spraying it with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, butter, egg, vanilla and mix. The batter will be extremely thick and will be difficult to combine, but keep stirring or use your fingers and knead it together, adding the water if necessary. Press the dough it into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the coconut evenly over the dough, then sprinkle the chocolate and butterscotch chips evenly.

In a mixing bowl (the same one from the cake mix is fine), combine the sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter, stir until well combined, and pour mixture evenly over dough, using a spatula to even it if necessary. Bake for 26 to 29 minutes, or until edges of bars begin to brown and pull away slightly from the sides of the pan, or until the middle of bars has barely set, taking care not to overbake. The bars will set up considerably upon cooling. Allow bars to cool well before slicing and serving. Store in an airtight container on the countertop for up to five days or freeze for up to three months.

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 Take a box of yellow cake mix (you could probably use white, spice, or a golden cake mix), add butter, an egg, vanilla, and stir or knead until you create a very thick dough, and press it into the pan.

Top the dough with coconut, butterscotch, and chocolate chips.

Make a mixture of peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk and flood it.

This is the only time when floods are welcome.

Bake it up and wait patiently.

The smell wafting while these are baking is heaven-sent and being patient will be your virtue.

These do the trick for me and have all the right elements going for them:

Two kinds of chips; butterscotch and chocolate.

Peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk. The sweetened condensed milk definitely dominates the flavor of these bars. So rich, creamy, and dreamy.

A sheet cake and a pan of bars, in one.

Bars, not cookies; much faster and less fussy to make.

Coconut and vanilla extract. If you’re not a huge coconut fan, that’s okay because these are not strongly coconut-flavored. It adds texture more so than imparting an overly strong coconut flavor.

They’re a light, fat-free, low-cal, favorite springtime recipe. Sure.

And they sure are good.

If Magic Eight Bars

and White Chocolate Vanilla Marshmallow Cake Bars….

got married…

And had a first child named Marshmallow Peanut Butter Double Chocolate Pillowtop Bars (GF with Vegan options)…

…This is their second child.

Have you ever tried Magic Bars or Seven Layer Bars as they’re also known?

I love them and they remind me of childhood because they were one of my mom’s signature desserts. She’d make them and bring them to potlucks, bake sales, and neighborhood get-togethers. They’re easy and everyone seems to love them.

What are you looking forward to making this spring?

This post was sponsored by Frigidaire. When you check out Suzanne Goin’s springtime recipes at www.maketimeforchange.com, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children’s U.S. programs. Plus, you’ll be entered for a chance to win the new Frigidaire Range with Symmetry™ Double Ovens– featuring two large ovens (that can each fit up to a 28 pound turkey!), providing the flexibility to cook multiple dishes at the same time at different temperatures, so you can get more on the table at the same time.

P.S. The winner of the Soyfoods Giveway is Erica

   

92 Responses to “Coconut Peanut Butter Magic Cake Bars”

  1. #
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    j3nn — March 18, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Oh my GAWD! Those sound so gooey and delicious! I’ll take a whole tray right now!! I want to swim in that flood, lol.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 18th, 2012 at 2:42 am

      You have to make these! If Dustin likes coconut at all, make them. And even if he doesn’t, more for you that way :)

      Reply

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    Erica — March 18, 2012 at 3:28 am

    Congrats on the sponsorship! Thats fabulous. The bars look yummy. I enjoy seeing how you combine different flavors (especially different types of chips). Good stuff!

    Reply

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    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — March 18, 2012 at 4:27 am

    What a fabulous bar! I love how chewy and sticky this looks. This is a keeper for sure!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 18th, 2012 at 9:00 am

      Chewy & sticky is key..otherwise why bother is my attitude!

      Reply

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    Colleen — March 18, 2012 at 4:52 am

    I want one now!! All of your bars look so delectable

    Reply

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    Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries — March 18, 2012 at 4:58 am

    i would have absolutely no self control around these… they’re pretty much all my favorite dessert flavors mixed into one. YUM!

    Reply

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    marla — March 18, 2012 at 5:12 am

    Girl you need to write a book ~ these look beyond amazing!

    Reply

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    Blog is the New Black — March 18, 2012 at 5:29 am

    No words. HEAVEN!

    Reply

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    Pure2raw Twins — March 18, 2012 at 5:30 am

    we used to make seven layers bars when growing up. we have not tried to make them in years, not really sure why, I guess other sweet treats keep taking over haha

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 18th, 2012 at 8:58 am

      Oh I know….there are so many things to make and with a blog, wanting to make NEW things is key…so sometimes the oldies but goodies take a backseat!

      Reply

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    Heather (Where's the Beach) — March 18, 2012 at 5:37 am

    Beautiful. I’ve never made or had any bars like this. And congrats on the ambassador. Hopefully it means good things ahead.

    Reply

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    Cassie — March 18, 2012 at 5:53 am

    These look so amazingly gooey! I love the yellow cake layer mixed with all of these flavors. They look amazing!

    Reply

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    katie @ KatieDid — March 18, 2012 at 6:29 am

    I’ve had a few seven layer bars in my time but they were never my mom’s signature or staple. I sort of want to try making a paleo version these days though! Gorgeous photos, so bright and fun.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 18th, 2012 at 8:57 am

      Thanks for the photo compliments…and paleo, meats and heavy fats is what comes to mind for me when I think paleo. These have fat in them…so you’re halfway there. Lol

      Reply

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    Luv What You do — March 18, 2012 at 6:41 am

    I am a huge fan of magoic cookie bars. Whenever I make them, everyone loves them and they store easily in the freezer.

    This spring, I am excited to make ANYTHING from the farmer’s market. We just got a new grill and grilling season has officially begun. Hooray!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 18th, 2012 at 8:56 am

      That’s my experience, too…that everyone loves magic bars!

      Reply

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    Paula — March 18, 2012 at 7:12 am

    I love magic eight bars and like the idea of using cake mix for the base. I could go to town on these!! I am looking forward to getting my little “salad garden” going very soon (my husband built me a small raised garden box). Hopefully I can pick and make my own spring mixes in a couple of months.

    Reply

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    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — March 18, 2012 at 7:34 am

    I have plans later to make a breakfast cookie of sorts with a lot of these flavors, although slightly more healthified ;)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 18th, 2012 at 8:55 am

      It’s a great combo and so versatile. All those other bars were sort of “cousins” to this bar. Enjoy your breakfast cookie!

      Reply

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    vanillasugarblog — March 18, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Wonderful!
    I LOVE the cake mix addition–much better.
    You go girl!
    We finally have sun–I’m so not baking today.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 18th, 2012 at 8:54 am

      And not only does it taste great, it’s easy-peasy, which is key around here! Enjoy your nice weather!

      Reply

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    Michele Sparrow — March 18, 2012 at 7:46 am

    When you posted yesterday a teaser that you were going to produce yet another amazing bar, I couldn’t wait! Oh.My.Gosh!! These look so good! I especially like the “gooey galore” description in the photo! You have the greatest ideas for bars. In fact, Averie, you should do a cookbook of just bars. Your photos are exquisite, your recipes are spot on and they are simple to make and the ingredients are no big deal! It would sell, I am sure, and I – ahem – would be the first to buy it!! Great work, as always, lady! :-)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 18th, 2012 at 8:53 am

      I think you’ll love these because they combine bars that I love (and I know that you’ve made, too!) and they’re so easy.

      And your support and encouragement is wonderful…thanks as always, Michele!

      Reply

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    Amber Shea @Almost Vegan — March 18, 2012 at 8:25 am

    *I die.*
    And if those chips were white instead of dark chocolate…well…I’d die even harder.
    ;)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 18th, 2012 at 8:52 am

      I was going to add them, too, but honestly these already had so much going on that I figured I could hold off…for now with those…. :)

      Reply

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    Jennifer — March 18, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Gooey GALORE is right! These looks incredible. I like the idea of mixing coconut and peanut butter.

    Reply

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    The Blissful Baker — March 18, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Oh man! These look temptingly good!!! :D …there is so much to look forward to about spring…but probably the nice running whether is on the top of my list!

    Reply

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    Amber K — March 18, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Oh my gosh, these look so delicious and gooey! You’re killing me with all of this greatness. Yum!

    Reply

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    Sally @ sallys baking addiction — March 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    YUM!!! another amazing flavor combo recipe from Averie :) You are a genius in the kitchen!!!! my mom always made magic bars when i was growing up. i’ve never attempted them myself. im looking forward to making chocolate covered peeps for easter this spring. :) I got the idea from Christi at Love From the Oven!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 18th, 2012 at 9:18 pm

      they’re super easy but dare I say, these take the best parts of magic bars and make them even a little better b/c of the cake base!

      Reply

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    lindsay — March 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I want to channel my inner dorothy! Oh heavens.. I love all the flavors. Butterscotch is my favorite.

    Reply

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    sara — March 18, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    YUM, these look so tasty! And gorgeous photos! :)

    Reply

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    Jennifer — March 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    I want one right now!! These look incredible.

    Reply

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    Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes — March 18, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Those look sinfully delicious!! Oh my word, best flavor combinations ever!! And your pictures are stunning!

    Reply

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    myfudo — March 18, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Delicious! i want to top these with colorful sprinkles…Perfect for a spring picnic…Thanks Averie!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 18th, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      I know, I thought about pastels for Easter but thought I’d hold off :)

      Reply

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    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — March 18, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    I have tried 7 layer bars and I really like them. I haven’t made them that I can remember.

    This spring I look forward to putting a big dent in my bookmarked recipes.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 18th, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      these take the best parts of magic/seven layer bars and make them even a little better b/c of the cake base IMO :)

      Reply

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    Stacy @ Say It With Sprinkles — March 18, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Coconut & Peanut Butter are like magical words in my life at this point – I’m obsessed! These bars look AMAZING and super rich!

    Reply

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    Kendra Kaczmarski — March 18, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    These look amazing. You’re a genius!

    Reply

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    Memoria — March 18, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    If it weren’t for the boxed cake mix, I would have made this in a second. I’ll need to find a good from-scratch recipe and then make these one day. The top part looks amazing.

    Reply

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    Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) — March 19, 2012 at 2:14 am

    Yummm, I love cake mix bars… and anything with coconut!! Gosh, we would have such a good time in the kitchen together.

    Reply

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    Mike @TheIronYou — March 19, 2012 at 2:31 am

    You can’t be serious…those bars are insane…I’m on the fence if making them or not. Because if I do I’ll eat them all and then who’s going to be able to train???
    ;)

    Reply

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    Holly W — March 19, 2012 at 6:39 am

    Oh my goodness! These look heavenly. I love magic bars, but these look about 10 times better. Pinning this page now!

    Reply

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    Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes — March 19, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Delicious!!!

    Reply

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    LiztheChef — March 19, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Don’t be surprised if you see you lurking outside your front door, in search of one of these goodies!

    Reply

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    Alexandra Bohannon — March 19, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Man, what the pictures of what you make are a delight. I know they would be heartstopping and yet I wish to consume them all… :)

    Reply

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    Tracey — March 19, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I love that the base is yellow cake and then all of the other flavors are layered on top. They look so decadent!!

    Reply

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    Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables — March 19, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    These look so amazing Averie! I grew up eating magic bars too and they are still one of my favorite desserts.

    Reply

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    Julie — March 19, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    You are officially insane! Wow.

    Reply

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    Christine (The Raw Project) — March 20, 2012 at 8:49 am

    What an honor from FoodBuzz, congrats! The bars look very decadent and sweet, a total treat! Awesome job and I adore the photography. For spring I’m looking forward to bright fruits and veggies.

    Reply

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    Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance — April 4, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I already follow you on Pinterest and I pinned the magic eight bars!

    Reply

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    Taylor — April 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Do you think you could sub canned coconut milk for the sweetened condensed milk?

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — April 21st, 2012 at 10:20 pm

      Yes I do but you may want to sweeten it with stevia or agave or just sugar. And if you use it, let the can settle, and then when you open it, pour off the top layer of “skim” coconut milk and use the “2%” part if that makes sense. The thicker the better so try not to “jiggle” the can for at least an hour or two before you use it so it can separate into skim/2% layers of coconut milk.

      Reply

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    Amelia — June 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    These are in the oven right now… I made a half batch because I don’t trust my own self control, hahaha. I’m staying with my mom for a week and the bad news is that the can of sweetened condensed milk she had was a use by 2009 and I didn’t see that until after I’d started the recipe… so I had to improvise a bit.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — June 26th, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      How did you make a half batch with the egg/cake mix situation? Did you literally crack an egg, beat it, and use half and then use half the box of cake mix & bake in a 8×8 pan? Totally do-able just curious! Glad you found ways to improvise. LMK how things pan out!

      Reply

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    Michelle — July 24, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Averie!! I just baked these using devil’s food cake mix for my clinic group and am SOOO excited at the result. Looks delicious! Can’t wait to see what they think tomorrow. It’s sitting on my counter waiting to cool…and I’m dying to cut them up!! Thank you for such a fun and easy recipe! :)

    Reply

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    Nicole — October 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Had a bunch of cake mix I wanted to use and I googled what to make with it and found this recipe. So glad I did! I happen to have all the ingredients and it was super easy and delicious! Thanks it’s a keeper:)

    Reply

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    Amanda — April 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    just made these… WOW! Delicious!

    Reply

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    Liz — May 11, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Thanks for the lovely recipe. Wish they were low-fat, but I love them.

    Reply

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    Julie — September 1, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    I made these the other day but substituted chocolate cake for the yellow cake mix because I was craving chocolate and peanut butter. I think these are by far the best bars from your collection, Averie. They even taste better the next day! This will definitely be one of our go to recipes when we are craving something sweet- they are so easy to make and delicious too! Thanks for another tasty treat!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — September 1st, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      Thanks for trying them and I bet with choc cake and the PB/sweetened cond milk sauce, they were wonderful. I loved this recipe so much that I put it in my cookbook! Glad you agree that it’s one of my best. Thanks for the compliment!

      Reply

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