Magic Eight Bars


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I used to beg my mom to make Seven Layer Bars when I was growing up.  They were a staple.  We called them Seven Layer Bars, not Magic Bars, but in googling I’ve found out that Seven Layer Bars and Magic Bars are one in the same.

Magic Eight Bars

My new twist on an old favorite will make you do the happy dance.

Magic Eight Bars

I am not sure if my  mom used nuts in her bar recipe or not.  I really dislike like nuts in baked goods so I omitted them from what I’m calling Magic Eight bars.

Magic Eight Bars

Well, I should clarify that statement about the nuts a bit because in many of my raw or no-bake desserts balls and bites, such as High Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls, have cashews in them.  A nut. And in raw unbaking, cashews really are the cat’s meow because of their versatility and fat content and how they can create authentic and amazing raw vegan desserts.

High Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

But don’t put walnuts in my chocolate chip cookies or slivered almonds in brownies.  I despise that. And there are no nuts in these bars. I did add white chocolate chips which Seven Layer Bars don’t have.  Now there’s eight layers.

Magic Eight Bars

And when you sink your teeth through each and every sweet, chewy-but-with-a-touch-of-crunch-layer from the white, dark, and butterscotch chips, you will be glad for all eight layers.

Magic Eight Bars
As if the can of sweetened condensed milk wasn’t enough, the addition of white chocolate chips makes the bars even sweeter. Too bad we don’t have dental insurance for all those cavities that we’ll probably get.  But they’ll be well worth it.

Magic Eight Bars

Even if you don’t “love” coconut, you should try these bars.  They are not overpowering in terms of being “too coconutty”.  Which is nice, actually, because in addition to the coconut flavor, the great flavor combos of all the chips: butterscotch, chocolate, and white shine through.  Heavenly.

Magic Eight Bars



Magic Eight Bars

1/2 c butter, melted

1.5 c graham cracker crumbs

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

1 c chocolate chips

1 c butterscotch chips

1 c white chocolate chips

1 1/3 c coconut flakes (either sweetened or unsweetened)

1/2 c Heath Bar toffee bits (or use chopped nuts)


Melt butter in microwave-safe bowl and add the graham cracker crumbs to it.  Stir to combine and press crumb mixture into a foil-lined and cooking sprayed 9 x 13 pan (foil is optional but will really save with cleanup time)

Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture.

Layer evenly with half the chips, i.e. 1/2 c of each kind of chip, then top with half the amount of coconut, i.e. about 3/4 c.  Then add the rest of the chips and rest of the coconut.   I did this so that the chips were evenly dispersed within the fluffiness of the coconut.  But you don’t have to be so precise.

After the chips and coconut are layered in, add the the toffee bits (or nuts) to the top.

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, or until top is barely browning.  Start checking on it after 25 minutes.  Allow to cool and slice.  You can store extras in the freezer in case you want to make these ahead for unexpected company.  Or unexpected munchies.


The ingredients

Ingredients for magic eight bars

Melt the butter, add the graham cracker crumbs, and stir

graham cracker crumbs

Press mixture into a foil-lined and cooking sprayed 9 x 13 pan

graham cracker crumbs in foil lined pan

Add the sweetened condensed milk

sweetened condensed milk poured over crumbs

Add everything else and bake

Remaining ingredients added to pan

After 30 minutes at 350F, get ready to get your Magic on

Finished Magic 8 bars out of oven

These are the kind of bars that you bring to potlucks, baby showers, graduations, and everyone asks you for the recipe and they think they’re way more complicated than they really are.  Which is all of about 5-10 minutes of active prep time, bake them, and you’re done.

Magic 8 bars stacked on white plate


Or just make them even if you don’t have somewhere to bring a dessert if you have random bags of chips, toffee bits, and graham cracker crumbs to use up.

Bags of butterscotch, white and semi-sweet chipsChips, Bits, and Crumbs. That should be the name of a restaurant.

A restaurant where they serve these bars.  With 8 Ingredients, not 7.

Close up of Magic 8 Bars stacked

And yes, they are Magic.

Overhead of three plates of Magic 8 Bars

Even though I wished all the fathers a Happy Father’s Day in my last post, I’ll repeat that sentiment.  And it’s nice to know that many of you were able to spend the day with your dad.

I loved hearing the stories about your dads, and the stories about your husbands or partners if you have children of your own.  So much love in the air.  Fun comments to read!


1. Best thing you ate or did over the weekend?

Oh, these bars stole the show!

2. Did you celebrate Father’s Day in any way?

It was just me, Skylar, and Scott and we kept things very mellow.  A couple cards and some time at the park.   I have to work later on today and so we kept things simple.  And oh yes, I took 111 pictures of Magic Eight Bars earlier.

The weather has been gorgeous all weekend here, too, which was wonderful.

High Rise buildings with palm trees

3. Have you ever had Seven Layer Bars or Magic Bars?

They were a staple growing up in my house and I think everyone should try them!  One of those life’s bucket list desserts.

The Magic Eight Bars + the Nutella & Peanut Butter Graham Bars with Chocolate Frosting (No Bake) = you will use exactly one box of Honey-Maid graham cracker crumbs.

Nutella & Peanut Butter Graham Bars with Chocolate Frosting stacked on white dishImagine that. Better go buy that box of graham cracker crumbs!

P.S.  Taste of Adams Avenue Giveaway is still open.

And if you’re just catching up on posts from the weekend, here are mine since Friday:



Have a great week!


About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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  1. I actually just took these out of the pan, using the foil as handles. They actually held together just fine if anyone is curious. I crushed the cookies into a crumb, then added butter and a little sugar. 😁

  2. I just took these out of the oven, so I cannot say how they turned out. I do not eat gluten, or dairy and be super limited sugar. So, these are dessert for a large meal I’m sending to teachers. I did not have any Graham cracker crumbs, so I used a rolling pin to crush up some Scharr gluten free shortbread cookies. I just added some sugar to the butter and they looked great. I’m just not sure if I should cut them before sending them, or just wrap the whole thing in foil, then place them in a large bag. I read other comments that they are messy and fall apart. Any suggestions?! These will be definitely be my go to for making for any future desserts. I also just wanted to add that I think if your short on graham cracker crumbs like I was, I think you could add whatever cookie you’d prefer and crush it into crumbs. That worked for me anyway 😁

    1. If you used a GF substitution, likely it will NOT hold together since GLUTEN is the GLUe in the crust. It’s possible it’s fine but not as likely.

      I would send the whole thing in a large bag.

      Glad this will be your go to dessert in the future!

  3. I made these today for teacher end of year gifts. I like to bake for them, and this is just one of the items.  The only issue is they are so messy.  This was my first time to make this bar… I too loved it growing up.  I see on the other recipe you add the condensed milk last, but on this one you add it first.  I added it after the graham cracker crust just as the directions said but now I’m thinking they would stay together better if I added the condensed milk last.  Any suggestions?

    I wrapped a huge bar in foil and put it in a baggy for them but I’m kinda embarrassed they are going to open up a bar that falls apart.  I let it cool all the way, too.

    1. These are definitely on the messier side! Over the years I’ve played around with when to add the sweet cond milk and I’d probably say at the end is less messy but it’s kind of a toss up. Enjoy!! :)

  4. I have a question…is the butter really considered a layer?? I mean it is mixed with the graham cracker crumbs to make a layer so I’m a bit confused. I have seen the recipe using 7 ingredients or 8 ingredient…in the 7 ingredient recipes the butter is considered a layer…not sure why though lol. In the 8 layer recipes the butter is not counted as a layer. Does this make sense? lol. I guess it’s all in your preference. =)

    1. 1/2 c butter, melted

      1.5 c graham cracker crumbs

      1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

      1 c chocolate chips

      1 c butterscotch chips

      1 c white chocolate chips

      1 1/3 c coconut flakes (either sweetened or unsweetened)

      1/2 c Heath Bar toffee bits (or use chopped nuts)

      First two lines are counted as 1, then layer 2 starts with SCMilk

  5. Hi Averie,
    I just made these today and added a couple more things. . LOVE!!! OMG! I also just put it on my blog and linked back to YOUR recipe. Hope that was ok. I will ask you in advance next time. thank you for this awesome recipe, wow!!!

    1. And I wrote you back already on your site and thanks for linking up – I appreciate that! And I love the looks of yours. It makes me crave them b/c it’s been wayyyy too long since I’ve had any!

  6. Its as if you read my mind, all my life, and took out my least favorite element of 7-layer bars (nuts) & added my ideal extra (white chocolate) and perfected the close -to -perfect dessert bar into my own personal idea of pure wunnerfulness and taste perfection….
    so that I had to keep shaking my head the whole time I was reading while muttering ‘why didn’t I think of that ‘ under my breath.
    Thank you so much! I cant wait to make.

  7. Averie, I have to say – these bars a LIFE-CHANGING. I have probably made them 20 times in the last two months — that’s not even an exaggeration. They are my most-requested treat! (And so easy, too – not to mention delicious!)

    Quick question – I’m a huge fan of the bars the way they are, but a friend of mine requested them without coconut. How do you think that would turn out? Is there anything you’d recommend substituting? Let me know what you think! Thanks!! And keep the amazingly yummy recipes comin’!! :)

    1. You could probably use oats. Now the taste is NOT going to be the same but if she doesn’t like coconut at all, and you use oats, you’ll end up with a familiar-ish dessert, but different b/c it’s the coconut that gives it that taste and the gooey factor that you’re not going to get from oats, as much. You could also use less coconut, some oats, and maybe some slivered almonds? You could probably use..don’t laugh..cooked rice because when you bake it, with the sweet cond milk, it will get rice-pudding-ish. Lots of things you could use, depending on how in love with the original you are, knowing that nothing will taste like coconut..that can be good or bad, depending on what your goals are. LMK what you do!

  8. Averie–is it wrong that I licked the computer screen? ALL of those dessert look delicious. Now I just need to go home and check my pantry to see if I can make some tonight.

  9. My mother-in-law makes those bars and I LOVE them so much!!!! Yours look especially good!

  10. Love your site! Recipes in pictures. You should write a book for Amazon. I know it would sell. You are so creative. I made Magic 7 bars when I was a young girl. We bought the Honey Made Graham Crackers and made the crumbs ourselves. My mom always thought it made them have a better texture. You go go go. This is wonderful find. Found you with StumbleUpon.

    1. You are so kind! Thank you for all the great things you just said and I am glad that stumble brought you to my site! :)

  11. These look so tasty! I am excited to try and create a version that is free from all of the commercial toxins. Thank you so much for the inspiration! You’re site is awesome! Excite the palate, heal the body, nourish the soul!!!

    1. not really but i promise you will like these. if you dont, give them to a neighbor or friend you will make their day, week, month, and year. i promise they’re not a coconutty dessert.

  12. Oh my gosh, these bars may very well make all my dessert dreams come true. Your photos make them look absolutely delectable, and I want to make them NOW.

  13. I am drooling at these photos! These look amazing! But I think I’ll have to refrain from making them… the pictures themselves have made me put on 5 lbs heehee :P

  14. oh my amazing! These look SO good! i don’t like nuts in bakedgoods either! I always feel like they ruin a good cookie. Graham cracker base? LOVE! Perfection.

  15. I have never heard of these bars, but they look delicious! Just gotta use some gluten-free “graham cracker” crumbs and I can eat and enjoy the yumminess.

    And I am soooo with you on the no nuts in my baked goods thing. I hate biting into a decadent fudgy brownie and then crunching into a nut.

  16. Oh my god!!!

    A side note though, is it actually possible to eat a full size one of this slice without getting a sugar buzz after? Hahaha.

  17. I can only agree to what other´s have said already- your photography is getting more gorgeous with every post!
    And those bars sound fanastic, so glad you finally revealed it ;) I am sure I could do a vegan version with sweetened coconut milk and vegan choc chips. Ah, I bet it´s heaven! Never tried those 7 layer bars, btw.

  18. Hi Averie – I know I don’t comment that often but this post is making me de-lurk. First, I LOVE Seven Layer Bars – haven’t had them in YEARS. I’m from outside of Chicago – could it be a midwest thing?!! SO YUMMY!!!!

    Second, and more importantly, your photography looks fantastic! Like a previous poster mentioned, ever since your class, your pictures just look incredible. Very professional looking! This post in particular, I really feel like I could reach in and grab one of those bars. Maybe it is the little droplets of condensation on the chips…or the texture that just pops off the screen. I’m very excited for you and glad that we get to watch as you develop this skill. I am taking a class at the end of the year but it is to photograph jewelry – it is SO DIFFICULT. I struggle so much with it – I hope that after my class I am as comfortable as you have become with food photography.

    Have a great day!!!

    1. Thanks, Christine, for the compliments.

      It’s not just “one class” that will change you (or changed me) with’s practice (I take 200+ pics a day, every day, as practice) and reading every book imaginable about photography that I can and look at tons and tons and tons of websites and try to emulate the pics of people I see…so it’s a combo of things. My class just made the lightbulb go off but it’s the follow thru and practice that is what really matters. So for you, just practice practice, read read, and have fun :)

      1. I’m sorry – I didn’t mean to imply that you learned everything overnight. I understand it takes a lot of study, PRACTICE and patience. I seem to be lacking in the patience category! :-)

    1. actually didnt add nuts at all. Heath bar bits is what you’re seeing probably. Way better than nuts!

  19. I spent the weekend in your stomping grounds, San Diego!!! Catching up on all of your wonderful posts. I thought of you when I saw the signs for the Greek festival!

    1. Oh how fun! Well, you were probably close by me then! Hope you had a blast here!

  20. I never called them anything because I’ve never eaten anything like this! But I think I want one now. For breakfast:) They look amazing. I love cookie bars even more than cookies themselves I think :) Bookmarking!

  21. My mom used to make a seven layer bar recipe and it was my oldest brother’s favorite dessert. I used to HATE coconut with a passion, so I never really got into them. I’m definitely more open to eating coconut now, so I should give seven layer bars a try again!

    Sounds like a wonderful father’s day just spending time with your beautiful family… that’s what it’s really about. :)

  22. Oh my gosh! I just made something exactly like these, though they had the less-charming name of No-Bowl Choc Bit Slice. And I burnt mine. Can I have yours? :P

  23. wow! love these photos, averie! and the recipe is divine – and not labour-intentsive. i am not a nut fan in baked goods, either – so these get two thumbs up from me – plus for all the types of chips. choco chips, butterscotch, white choco…bring ’em on.
    have a great day!

  24. My. Oh. My.
    I MUST make the Magic Eight Bars NOW!
    Averie, I think this is the most incredible recipe on your blog. :D
    Thank you! Thank you! Thank YOU! eeeeeeeekkkk YUM!
    I used to make a similar recipe when I was a little girl (I’m now 30) and seeing this now has been a total blast from the past! YUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMM! :D

    1. Ok it is a really good recipe, I wont lie :) This one and nutella brownies w/ cream cheese frositng are probably tied as my current two fave obsessions :)

  25. Your baking skills are insane! Every time I click on loveveggiesandyoga I end up craving all the sweet stuff! I would say you have very happy children! :)

  26. 1. Best things for me included spending time with my boyfriend Rob, his family, and my family. Something we did included fishing at a nearby lake and we took a lot of pictures.

    2. Did you celebrate Father’s Day in any way?

    I went to Rob’s house and my parents house and spent some time with them. I baked my dad a cinnamon pecan cake and I made Rob’s family a carrot cake.

  27. You know I LOVE these! I swear we are dessert (and a lot of other things) twins. When I made these last Christmas, I used all three flavored chips and no nuts too. I didn’t add the heath though, so mine were just the seven layers. I love calling them magic eight bars though!

    My cousin had a magic eight ball app on her phone that we were playing with on Sat night. Super fun!

  28. I agree – nuts in desserts just don’t work. It drives me a bit crazy when people put chopped nuts in things like fudge or brownies – for me, it totally ruins the texture. (It’s hard to enjoy great fudge that melts in my mouth when there’s a crunchy nut piece!) =)

  29. I totally forgot about Magic bars! They are so yummy – I love your Heath addition.

    Hope you guys had a great day! We spent the day honoring good memories. :)

  30. Holy moly!!! Those magic bars look absolutely scrumptious! I love super dense desserts and these look especially rich, which is excellent! My boys are gonna LOVE those! Your pics are looking great, btw…totally professional and lovely, I must say! Oh man, I cannot wait to make those bars! :-)

    As for Father’s Day, my dad doesn’t live here, but I spoke with him on the phone. My hubby is a fantastic father to our boys. He is ultra patient and loving, spends tons of time with them and they absolutely love their dad. We had a low key day hanging out with my sister and her hubby and their 4 kids and us, just having a meal together and visiting. It was great.

    1. Thanks for the compliments on my pics, Michele :)

      Have fun making the bars!

  31. I totally understand what you mean in the cooked vs. raw nuts issue. :) I generally really dislike nuts in baked goods too. Plus, the cashews in the raw “baked” treats act more as a cream than a nut. ;)

  32. Wow, these look great. Awesome job on the pics. Great use of coconut flakes.

    1. Probably chocolate rice krispy treats.
    2. Nope, my dad was doing his own thing so we just chilled and it was great. :-)
    3. I don’t think so, but they sound amazing.

  33. Those bars look delish. I will have to make them some time.
    The best thing I did this weekend was see my boyfriend’s play. I wish my hands didn’t shake when I took the picture of him in his costume. Retake on Saturday! So excited.
    I celebrated father’s day at my boyfriend’s house with his father.

  34. 8 layers? These look incredible! Butterscotch chips and heath bar bits are going on the shopping list!

  35. 7 layer cookies!!! These are THE cookies of my childhood :)
    I’m so excited to try this version, and love how close it is to the original recipe!

  36. those bars look great! I haven’t had much time to blog in a while, but I definitely missed seeing your great recipes!

  37. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Pannikin’s in Encinitas, but they sell these and call them 7-layer bars. They are so good, really rich and delicious! By the way, have you every heard of simpli oats n chocolate? It’s a drink that combines oats and chocolate and is like chocolate milk. It is dairy-free, no GMO’s or high-fructose corn syrup, it is really good!

  38. Oh my GAWG girl! Those bars look out of this world! I think you are amazing. And I agree with you on the nuts in desserts thing, they generally just get in the way of the chocolate things…
    I ate an AMAZING mango yesterday, and I sent my daddy a heart felt note, as well as gave him a phone call. It was really sweet!

  39. I just tried your vegan raw chocolate chip cookie dough balls tonight- they were delicious! These magic bars look amazing- I wonder if it is possible for me to “veganize” them. I know there is such thing as vegan white chocolate, but not sure about a substitute for the condensed milk. Thank you for all your delicious looking recipes you share!

    1. glad you like the choc chip cookie dough balls.

      i thought about adding vegan instructions but between the butterscotch chips, the white choc chips, the graham cracker crumbs, and the sweet cond milk, it’s quite a bit to sub in/out for.

      you can use all choc chips, and PB chips, as well as vegan white choc chips, find a graham cracker replacement that’s suitable and then also use full fat coconut milk sweetened w/ agave and/or powdered sugar b/c you want it THICK and SWEET…so it’s possible.

      Lmk if you try it!

      1. Thank you for the ideas! I will definitely let you know the results if I try it! The full fat coconut milk with agave is a great idea- I hadn’t thought of that.

  40. seven layer bars (i call them) are so so decadent i love them! my friend used to drink condensed milk….. ew!

    1. I used to eat it with a spoon. It’s too thick to really drink :)

      And I just gave Skylar some spoonfuls of it when I was making these. I love the stuff. So did she!

  41. I don’t know if I’ve had Magic Bars or not, but for some reason these are screaming childhood to me, so I must have had something similar. My mom didn’t bake often, so it must have been at a friend’s house.

    Gorgeous photos, too!

  42. In my mind, I’m doing the Snoopy dance thinking about these bars. They look sooooo good! I’ve had five layer bars…. But 8? This must go on my bucket list. Or my last meal on earth. Either way, before I die, lol! :)

    1. these are worth any and all gluten or dairy effects. i would not lie about that. omg. sooo good.

      and I think that TS is down? Their site won’t load and just wont pull up. Typical though.

    1. no specifically but it just kinda worked out that way. he was very happy :)

  43. I’ve never had 7 layer bars before and I think my life will be incomplete until I do. These look absolutely amazing! :D

    I celebrated Father’s Day by baking my dad his favourite dessert – strawberry rhubarb crisp. That was definitely the best thing I ate this weekend!

  44. This is perfect timing! A friend of mine has a birthday at the end of the week and he always requests me make 7 layer bars…so I think I’ll just sneak in another layer ;)

    1. yes and i ditched the nuts and used heath bars bits instead. so good.

      super easy bday treat! lmk if you make them.

  45. I have never heard of these bars before!!! But then, my mom never baked growing up, so I missed out on a lot of goodies like this! These would be the perfect treat to bring to a graduation party I’m going to next weekend.

    Best thing I ate all weekend was the banana bread I made. Or pulled pork I made. Not together, obviously. And I didn’t do much for father’s day. Watched some golf with the old man and cleaned up one of the rooms in the house for him. I’ve finally learned that all parents want is for me to do my chores ;)

    1. yes!
      cheap, easy, 10 mins, and people ooh and aahh like there’s no tomorrow

      knowing you, and the pics and stories i “know” of your mom…i am shocked!??!! she didnt bake!

  46. The best thing I ate over the weekend was a blueberry bagel!!! I am currently investigating whether or not I actually am gluten-intolerant (long story), and I hadn’t had one of those gems in years. Total trip down memory lane :)

  47. Ahhh those bars look too good. You have to stop preparing such amazing looking dessert…or soon I’ll be showing up on your doorstep!

    Best eat this weekend would have to be sushi last night. It’s my favourite place in my grandparents town…I love going to it whenever I’m in town. Luckily, last night I was and they oh so cleverly suggested sushi for dinner! ;)

  48. These absolutely delicious, such beautiful photos too! I love that you have such a huge tub of shredded coconut :)
    In honor of Father’s day, I made Jessica’s root beer float cupcakes for my daddy.

  49. These look incredible! I think you tweaked them just perfectly! Your presentation is excellent!

  50. These bars look so good. I keep showing the pictures to my boyfriend and he keeps saying..ahhh that looks so good!! i can smell the baked coconut and the cream condensed milk…yum!

    1. and wasnt it you who was a little worried about little tiny bit of sweetened condensed milk in the no bake cake batter & chocolate truffles and it being too sweet? looks like someone is embracing the sweet stuff now. Good! :)

  51. OMG! Girl….you have out done yourself this time…lol! Hubby and I are loving you! We loved those bars too. Thank YOU! xo

  52. These are one of my favorites of all time! I totally scored one at a bakery the other day and loved every bite! :)

    1. well my version here uses heath bars AND white choc…I had never had them like that before…and omg takes them to new levels :)

  53. Too funny! My mom made the same bars when I was growing up and I totally “vegan-fied” them and gluten free’d the up in my e-book!

    These bars are the shizzz!!!


    1. congrats on your ebook!

      I put white choc chips AND heath bars in today’s version…hard to vegan and gf those…possible but tricky. :)

    2. p.s. when i try to click on your site from the hyperlink, it’s an error msg and when i try to type it in, error msg

      missing a letter or two I think?

  54. Averie, I rarely comment but I am a frequent reader. I wantedd to delurk today to tell you how much I think your photography has improved over the last few months. (Not that I’m an expert ha) Your blog is pure eye candy lady! Keep it up, your photos are gorgeous!!

    1. Thanks for reading, and delurking…to tell me something so sweet. Thank you :)