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.



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.


 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, 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

98 comments on “Coconut Peanut Butter Magic Cake Bars”

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

  2. I want one right now!! These look incredible.

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

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

  5. 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.

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

  7. These look amazing. You’re a genius!

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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???

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

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

  13. 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… :)

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

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

  16. You are officially insane! Wow.

  17. 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.

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

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

    • 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.

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