Soft and Chewy Seven Layer Magic Bar Cookies

One of my favorite desserts of all time is Seven Layer Bars. Or Magic Bars.

Or Hello Dolly Bars as they’re sometimes called, depending on what potluck or bake sale you’re at.

Soft and Chewy Seven Layer Magic Bar Cookies - Cookies Made Like the Classic Bars. Recipe at

I brought the flavors and texture of the classic Seven Layer Bars into cookies, and they’re some of my favorite cookies ever.

The cookies have some chewiness around the edges but are soft, squishy, tender and moist in the middle.

Soft and Chewy Seven Layer Magic Bar Cookies - Cookies Made Like the Classic Bars. Recipe at

All the textures and layers of flavors just do it for me. The more, the merrier and these cookies are loaded with graham crackers, two kinds of baking chips, and coconut. The coconut almost acts like oats would, providing heartiness, chewiness, and plenty of texture.

If you’re not a big fan of coconut, not to worry, it’s not a pronounced flavor and doesn’t dominate. It’s present but not overwhelming, and while you could possibly omit it and add more flour (I know I’ll be asked), it’s a key ingredient in Seven Layer Bars and something I recommend keeping for flavor, texture, and authenticity.

Soft and Chewy Seven Layer Magic Bar Cookies - Cookies Made Like the Classic Bars. Recipe at

The cookies are a couple layers short of seven, missing nuts and sweetened condensed milk, but I don’t like nuts in bars anyway and always omit them. And sweetened condensed milk is just not cookie-friendly. Save it for these bars.

The ingredients that match up are butter, graham cracker crumbs, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips.

Soft and Chewy Seven Layer Magic Bar Cookies - Cookies Made Like the Classic Bars. Recipe at

I adapted my favorite chocolate chip cookie base because the cookies turn out perfectly, every time. There’s cornstarch in the dough and I highly recommend trying it if you haven’t hopped on the soft cornstarch cookie bandwagon yet.

Other cookies with cornstarch include M&Ms Cookies, Snickers Cookies, Twix Bar Cookies, Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies, Soft and Puffy Peanut Butter Coconut Oil Cookies, Soft and Chewy Smores Cookies, and Softbatch Funfetti Sugar Cookies.

Soft and Chewy Seven Layer Magic Bar Cookies - Cookies Made Like the Classic Bars. Recipe at

After making the straightforward cookie dough, it’s time for the add-ins. I chopped the graham crackers rather than pulverizing them into crumbs, creating some nice surprise pieces peeking out from the dough. The pieces soften while baking, but retain some crunch, adding to the texture party going on.

Keep a close eye on the cookies and don’t overbake. Coconut is prone to burning and the cookies taste best when they’re a bit underbaked, pillowy soft, and gooey.

Soft and Chewy Seven Layer Magic Bar Cookies - Cookies Made Like the Classic Bars. Recipe at

There’s something about the combination of butterscotch with coconut, chocolate with graham crackers, and tossing it all together in one recipe that’s so satisfying. Marriages of complementary flavors, at their finest.

The cookies remind me of the potlucks, church basement bake sales, Girl Scout troop meetings, graduations, and so many of the celebrations and parties I attended growing up in rural Minnesota. There was always a pan of Seven Layer Bars.

If some other lady didn’t bring a pan, it was one of my mom’s signature last-minute desserts, and one I secretly hoped would go untouched so we could bring home the leftovers. Never the case though.

Soft and Chewy Seven Layer Magic Bar Cookies - Cookies Made Like the Classic Bars. Recipe at

I’ll always have a soft spot for the original bars, but the cookies have my attention now.

Soft, chewy, melty, tons of textures and flavors.

One of the best cookies I’ve made in 2013. Other top nods this year go to these, these, and these.

Soft and Chewy Seven Layer Magic Bar Cookies - Cookies Made Like the Classic Bars. Recipe at

Soft and Chewy Seven Layer Magic Bar Cookies - All the ingredients in the classic bars, but baked in cookies! They're loaded with graham crackers, coconut, butterscotch & chocolate!

Print Print Recipe

Soft and Chewy Seven Layer Magic Bar Cookies

Seven layer bars are one of my favorite desserts and I created soft and chewy seven layer cookies in honor of the classic bars, minus a couple layers (nuts and sweetened condensed milk). The cookies are loaded with texture from the graham crackers, coconut, butterscotch and chocolate chips. They have some chewiness around the edges but are soft, squishy, tender and moist in the middle. For any Seven Layer Bar, Hello Dolly Bar or Magic Bar fans, these easy cookies loaded with the classic flavors are a must-try.

Yield: about 22 medium-large cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 2+ hours, for dough chilling


3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 cup coarsely chopped graham crackers and crumbs, about 4 full-size cracker sheets
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut


  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until well-creamed, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use a hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes).
  2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the graham crackers (include the fine crumbs too, they act as flour here and are important), chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut and beat momentarily to incorporate, less than 1 minute, or fold in by hand.
  4. Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, form heaping two-tablespoon mounds (I made 22). Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds slightly with your palm, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat, or spray with cooking spray. Place mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet). Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if slightly undercooked, pale and glossy in the center. Do not bake longer than 9 minutes for soft cookies because they firm up as they cool (The cookies shown in the photos were baked with dough that had been chilled overnight, allowed to come to room temp for 15 minutes, and were baked for 8 minutes, with trays rotated at the 4-minute mark. They have chewy edges with soft, pillowy, gooey centers). Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
  6. Store cookies airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Dough base adapted from Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies and Soft and Chewy Smores Cookies


Recipe from Averie Cooks. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.

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Do you like Seven Layer Bars? Any fun twists you add to the recipe?


114 Responses to “Soft and Chewy Seven Layer Magic Bar Cookies”

  1. Kate@Diethood — July 29, 2013 at 7:19 am (#

    Holy Moses! Gurrrrl, I want to marry these cookies!

  2. jodye @ chocolate and chou fleur — July 29, 2013 at 11:19 am (#

    These cookies look so dreamy and wonderful. Full of everything good and delicious! I can hardly imagine a dessert more satisfying right now!

  3. Meagan — July 29, 2013 at 12:06 pm (#

    Sing it, sister: Magic Bars are where it’s at. I am officially obsessed, and now with this cookie version as well. What a brilliant idea!

    • Averie Sunshine — July 29, 2013 at 2:38 pm (#

      Hey lady! How’s it going! Saw your last post pop up. Hope life’s good! Mine is…chaos!

  4. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — July 29, 2013 at 12:37 pm (#

    I haven’t even tasted these but I just know 7 layer magic bar cookies >7 layer magic bars.

    yepps :D

  5. vanillasugarblog — July 29, 2013 at 1:35 pm (#

    good lord woman!
    I love when you get super creative!!

    • Averie Sunshine — July 29, 2013 at 2:37 pm (#

      thank you! Tossed these around for about 6 mos in my head til I finally manifested them :)

  6. Maggie @ Sunnyside Up Smile — July 29, 2013 at 3:35 pm (#

    I love seven layer bars! They have the perfect combination of flavors. I can’t imagine how phenomenal they would be in cookie form. You nailed it here Averie! They look so soft and chewy :)

  7. marla — July 29, 2013 at 5:14 pm (#

    So in love with this cookie & bar combo!!

  8. Tahnycooks — July 29, 2013 at 9:10 pm (#

    Oh man I wish I had about 6-12 of these right in front of me, right now!!

  9. Michele Sparrow — July 29, 2013 at 9:32 pm (#

    This is such a fantastic idea. I never would have thought to make 7 layer bars into cookies. Awesome! I love coconut in things but I don’t like it to overpower the other ingredients and this sounds like it doesn’t do that at all. No nuts, either. Duh!! Can’t wait to try these! :-)

  10. Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar — July 30, 2013 at 7:54 am (#

    oh yum! These look so moist and delicious! What a great idea!

  11. Nancy @ gottagetbaked — July 30, 2013 at 5:06 pm (#

    Averie, you’ve turned food photography into a total art form. I literally drink in your beautiful photos with my eyes, I can’t get enough. Your cookies look incredible (as always) and I love that you’ve replicated that seven layer bar flavour into a cookie. I made blondies with a very similar taste profile that I’ll be blogging about soon – they were so addictive, I had to give away the pan before I ate it all myself. I can just imagine becoming addicted to these too!

    • Averie Sunshine — July 30, 2013 at 9:07 pm (#

      Oh I love blondies along these lines and have plenty of those recipes, too! I know what you mean about donating :) And thanks for saying you drink in my photos. What an amazing compliment. Thank you, Nancy!

  12. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking — July 30, 2013 at 8:53 pm (#

    Yeeesssss! I love Magic Bars, but my fiance thinks they’re “gross” so I hardly make them unless I want to hear, “how can you eat those?” over and over and over again. It limits the pleasure. But these. These I could make the dough and then freeze it and then sneak eat them for weeks. Thank you Averie for being amazing (and genius).

    • Averie Sunshine — July 30, 2013 at 8:59 pm (#

      How could anyone think Magic Bars are ‘so gross’! Wow, I wish that happened to me – it would save me a lot of calories. lol

  13. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence — July 31, 2013 at 9:52 am (#

    Wow, these cookies look over-the-top delicious!

  14. Lisa @ Wine & Glue — July 31, 2013 at 11:08 am (#

    These look amazing Averie! I don’t love coconut, but I will trust you on this one, especially because I’m resisting licking the screen with these beautiful pictures!

    • Averie Sunshine — July 31, 2013 at 4:06 pm (#

      I have friends who aren’t into coconut and got rave reviews on these. And truly, it’s a background flavor and reminds me more of oats actually b/c of the texture!

  15. Abby — August 7, 2013 at 9:57 am (#

    In the process of making these now. First batch are looking flat so far. Are you supposed to let them come to room temperature before baking?

    • Averie Sunshine — August 7, 2013 at 10:47 am (#

      No, you’re supposed to put them in the oven with CHILLED dough. Otherwise what would be the point of chilling it, you know? If you just wait for it to get warm again. Sometimes I have dough chilling for 4-5 days and it’s ICE cold, nearly frozen. Sometiems I let that come up to room temp, for 10-15 mins, but otherwise, no. Chilled dough! And if your dough is soft, like really soft, you may want to add 1 to 3 tbsp additional flour if you feel they’re really flat. It depends on how many crumbs vs. chunks your graham cracker pieces were. I had lots of crumbs which act like flour. If you had more chunks, you may need to bump up the flour amt just slightly.

  16. Kevin @ Closet Cooking — August 14, 2013 at 7:50 am (#

    Those look so decadently good!

  17. joan trueblood — August 17, 2013 at 2:56 pm (#

    Another fabulous recipe. I didn’t notice that the dough should have been chilled, but they were wonderful, all the same. What a great idea!

    • Averie Sunshine — August 17, 2013 at 3:32 pm (#

      Thanks for trying them and glad they worked out for you, even without chilling the dough! I always get puffier, thicker, prettier cookies when I chill it first but if you were able to get away without chilling, great! :)

  18. Theresa @ Delicacious — November 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm (#

    Oh those cookies look so sinfully delicious! I love it that you added coconut to the mix! Pinned!

  19. Tara — February 13, 2014 at 10:16 am (#

    Trying these on this snowy NY day…am out of sweetened coconut and light brown sugar so going with unsweetened and dark brown sugar. Hoping they come out still. Wondering if I should throw in some coconut oil or just more white sugar?

    • Averie Sunshine — February 13, 2014 at 1:29 pm (#

      Don’t add any coconut oil and maybe you’d want to add about 2-3 tbsp white sugar if you’re not using sweetened coconut. LMK how it goes!

  20. Brie — October 15, 2014 at 12:26 pm (#

    I made these yesterday, and they are already gone! I made mine as written and they were perfect!

    • Averie Sunshine — October 15, 2014 at 12:29 pm (#

      Thanks for trying them as written and glad they were perfect for you1

  21. Jennifer — December 16, 2014 at 9:59 pm (#

    Bummer. made these tonight — fail :(

    Not sure what I did wrong, but the cookies were super flat and a crumbly , greasy mess. They can’t be eaten as cookies, but maybe as a crumb topping for ice cream.

    • Averie Sunshine — December 16, 2014 at 10:02 pm (#

      I’m not sure where things went wrong but I suspect it has to do with the graham cracker pieces…sounds like they may have either been too big and weren’t being held easily within the dough OR too small/too finely ground which cased it to behave more like flour, thus contributing to a crumbly cookie yet also greasy. Thanks for trying the recipe.

  22. Matea — December 17, 2014 at 1:06 pm (#

    Putting the Seven Layer Magic Bars into a cookie is just sheer genius!

  23. Natasha — June 26, 2015 at 8:47 am (#

    These cookies are really good. I hate when I go to the comments to try and find out if something is good and no one that commented actually made them. They are just commenting off of the pic and if it sounds good. I just made them and am happy with them. I did change one thing, I only put one teaspoon of corn starch I do not like biscuit like cookies. And I also used fresh dough without refrigerating and they turned out perfect but then again I do not like biscuit type cookies so I didn’t mind them not rising lol. They kind of remind me of the 7 layer bars but it’s still not the same but it’s a great cookie

    • Averie Sunshine — June 26, 2015 at 10:40 am (#

      Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you without chilling the dough and with a little cornstarch! I have tons of cookie recipes that I use cornstarch in as well and it’s a great little trick, isn’t it!

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