These decadent vegan 7 layer cookies bars feature a buttery cookie crust, pecans, coconut and chocolate chips and are the perfect sweet treat for any occasion.

A number of vegan magic cookies bars scattered around a piece of parchment paper. The bars have chocolate chips, pecans and coconut in them.

What are 7 layer bars?

Old fashioned 7 layer cookie bars, or magic cookie bars, are a baked dessert bar consisting of 7 layers: graham cracker crumbs, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut flakes, pecans, and chocolate chips.

This version is made vegan by using coconut condensed milk and dairy-free chocolate chips.

I did not use butterscotch chips, so technically they’re only 6 layers, but you could always add another layer like cranberries, pistachios or the traditional butterscotch chips.

A stack of 4 seven layer cookies bars with a layer of graham cracker crust and a gooey layer of coconut, chocolate chips and pecans.

Magic bars are super easy to make and a classic for a reason, they’re incredible decadent and delicious!

They’re perfect for any occasion from Christmas to birthday parties and are always a big hit, they can even be made nut-free and gluten-free.

I hope you enjoy this fun and easy-to-make dessert. No matter the exact layers you choose, 7 layer magic bars are always a crowd-pleaser sure to impress!

Entertaining? Don’t miss this chocolate ganache tart, chocolate pie and peanut butter pie!

Recipe Highlights

  • Chewy, gooey and addictive!
  • Easy to make.
  • Sweet and salty.
  • No mixer needed.
  • Big batch perfect for parties or gatherings.
  • Can be made gluten-free.
  • Wonderfully decadent!
  • Delicious combo of pecan and coconut.
  • Easy to customize.
  • Just 6 ingredients.

Ingredients & Substitutions

All the ingredients needed for making seven layer cookies bars. Each ingredient is in a bowl and labelled with text overlay.

Please scroll down to find the full recipe card with ingredient amounts. This section covers specific ingredients and possible substitutions.

  • Graham Crackers or Animal Cracker Crumbs: Use vegan graham crackers or graham cracker crumbs, or look for animal crackers as most of them are vegan. If you can’t find crumbs, add 305 g of the crackers or cookies to a blender or food processor and blend into a fine crumb consistency. You can also use other cookies like shortbread cookies, Oreo cookie crumbs, gingersnaps or Biscoff cookies.
  • Vegan Butter: Any brand of vegan butter is suitable. I like Earth Balance or Melt Organic butter sticks. Some other brands are Miyoko’s or Country Crock. You can substitute melted coconut oil if you prefer.
  • Pecans: I like to purchase pecan pieces so I don’t have to chop them but if you have whole pecans, chop them up a bit before use. Walnuts, peanuts, cashews or almonds work too!
  • Coconut: I would recommend unsweetened medium shredded (desiccated) coconut but coconut flakes also work.
  • Chocolate Chips: You can use any dairy-free chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips or chocolate chunks. I’ve made with these chocolate chunks and chocolate chips and the chocolate chunks were really yummy!
  • Condensed Milk: Look for coconut or oat sweetened condensed milk. Coconut condensed milk is fairly easy to find in well-stocked grocery stores or natural food stores. These two products are also readily available online. Some good brands are Nature’s Charm and Let’s Do Organic. Make sure it’s condensed milk and not evaporated milk as the packaging looks similar! You can also use homemade sweetened condensed coconut or oat milk.

Quick Note: Canned coconut condensed milk comes in a variety of sizes. The recipe calls for a 14 ounce (400 mL) can so if you have that available, use the whole can. I used 1.5 x 300 mL cans of President’s Choice sweetened coconut condensed milk.

Some other brands, like Let’s Do Organic, come in a 195 mL cans, in that case, use 2 full cans. It doesn’t have to be precise though, somewhere close to 1.5-1.75 cups is perfect, so don’t worry too much.

An angled view of a stack of 4 gooey 7 layer cookies bars with coconut, pecans and chocolate chips.

How to Make

Step 1: Prepare the pan.

Spray a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray and then line with parchment paper. The spray helps hold the parchment paper in place. Preheat the oven to 350 F as well.

Step 2: Prepare the crust layer.

Add the graham cracker or other cookie crumbs to a mixing bowl along with the melted butter and mix well. It should be a little crumbly but still moist enough to press between your fingers.

Graham cracker crumbs in a mixing bowl with a small wooden soon resting in it.

Firmly press the crumb mixture into the prepared pan until you have a flat, even layer. You can use a wooden spoon, bottom of a measuring cup or your fingers to press the crust layer.

A layer of graham cracker crust pressed into a large 9x13-inch pan lined with parchment paper.

Step 3: Layer the bars.

Evenly sprinkle the pecans, coconut and chocolate chips over the crust layer.

Pour the coconut condensed milk over the bars, making sure it’s evenly distributed to each corner and all over.

I like to sprinkle a little flaky sea salt over top as well – highly recommended!

Step 4: Bake and cool the bars.

Bake the bars for 30-35 minutes until the edges are golden brown and bubbly.

Allow the bars to cool completely at room temperature or enough that you can transfer them to the fridge. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

Quick Tip: Do not skip cooling the bars or they’ll be a crumbly, gooey mess when you try to slice them.

Overhead view of a pan of 7 layer cookies bars cut into 24 squares. A few pieces are pulled to the side and one has a bite out of it.

Expert Tips

  1. Let bars cool, then chill completely. This will help them hold together perfectly when you slice them. I’d recommend cooling at room temperature until you can transfer them to the fridge to chill, this will make them super easy to slice and nice and compact.
  2. Line the pan. Make sure you line the pan with parchment paper so it hangs over the sides of the pan. This will make it easy to remove the bars after baking. If you don’t have any, it’s not totally necessary but do use a light coating of coating of cooking spray. Do not use wax paper for baking!
  3. Use a digital scale. The only ingredient you really need to measure accurately is the graham cracker crumbs. If you have a digital scale, use that to ensure accuracy. You can wing the chocolate chips, pecans and coconut!
A batch of seven layer magic cookie bars made with pecans, coconut and chocolate chips cut into squares with one bar pulled aside with a bite out of it.

Possible Variations

There are lots of fun ways to customize 7 layer bars! Pecan, chocolate and coconut is a classic combination but you can mix and match any of these ingredients, though the chocolate is a must.

  • Use slivered almonds, chopped roasted cashews, walnuts or pistachios instead of pecans.
  • Add a sprinkle of dried cranberries.
  • For peanut butter magic bars, use roasted peanuts instead of pecans and drizzle with a layer of peanut butter before the condensed milk.
  • For nut-free magic bars, substitute sunflower seeds for the pecans.
  • For coconut-free bars, you can try something like chopped pretzels or mini vegan marshmallows.
  • Use a mixture of dark and white chocolate chips or all white chocolate chips.
  • Add a drizzle of caramel or thin layer of date caramel.
  • Use chocolate animal cracker crumbs or Oreo cookie crumbs for the crust.
  • Add a layer of chopped pretzels.
  • Sprinkle any other candy you enjoy over the bars. Toffee, M&M-style candies, anything goes!
Close up of a seven layer magic bar with a bite out of it so you can see how gooey and decadent it is. There are chocolate chips, pecans and coconut on top of a graham cracker crust.

FAQs

Are 7 layer bars vegan?

Traditional seven layer bars are not vegan. This version is vegan as written as long as you use vegan graham cracker crumbs or animal cracker crumbs, coconut or oat sweetened condensed milk and dairy-free chocolate chips.

How long do 7 layer bars last?

7 layer bars keep well. They can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container for up to 5 days but it’s suggested to keep them chilled.

Store them in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for 3-4 months. They’re very yummy straight from the fridge or freezer!

Can I use a 9×9-inch pan?

This recipe was tested with success in a 9×13-inch pan and a 7.5×11.75-inch pan. You do not need to change the baking time for these pans.

I did try them in a 9×9-inch pan as well, with a baking them for 35 minutes but they fell apart somewhat when I sliced them. I rushed the chilling on that batch though so I think you could use a 9×9-inch pan if you increase the baking time to 40 minutes and be sure to let them cool then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Just note they’ll be extra gooey and may fall apart a bit!

Can I make my own graham cracker crumbs?

Yes! You can easily make your own cookie crumbs by placing graham crackers or animal crackers in a food processor or blender and processing into a fine crumb consistency.

You’ll need 305 g worth of cookies to make 2 cups of crumbs. I’m not sure exactly how many cookies that is so if you don’t have a scale, you might have to process a handful of cookies, see how much you have an add a few more if needed until you have 2 cups of crumbs.

Are 7 layer bars gluten-free?

This magic bar recipe is not gluten-free as written but you can easily make them gluten-free by using gluten-free graham cracker crumbs.

Overhead view of a batch of 7 layer cookies bars scattered on a counter. The bars are topped with chocolate chips, coconut and pecans.

How to Store

  • Let them cool completely before storing.
  • They can be stored directly in the pan or transferred to a container.
  • If you’re storing in the pan, wrap well and store in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.
  • I would suggest removing from the pan, slicing and storing. Store layered in an airtight container with a piece of parchment between layers to prevent sticking. They will keep 1 week in the fridge or 3-4 months in the freezer.

Did you try this recipe?
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Overhead view of a batch of 7 layer cookies bars scattered on a counter. The bars are topped with chocolate chips, coconut and pecans.

7 Layer Cookies Bars

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Chill Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 24 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
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Description

Ooey, gooey, decadent and addictive 7 layer cookies bars, also known as magic bars, with a cookie crust, pecans, coconut and chocolate chips. These are always a big hit!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups graham cracker or animal cracker crumbs (305 g)
  • ½ cup vegan butter, melted (113 g)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (115 g)
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (98 g)
  • 1 1/2 cups dark or regular chocolate chips or chocolate chunks (255 g)
  • 14 oz can coconut or oat sweetened condensed milk (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • flaky sea salt like Maldon, optional

Instructions

  1. Prepare for Baking: Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang on the long edges for easy removal. You can also make these bars in a 7½ x 11¾ glass baking dish. This does not impact the baking time.

  2. Mix Crust Layer: To a medium bowl, add graham crumbs and melted butter (melt butter in a small sauce pan or briefly in the microwave). Stir together until combined. You can prepare your own cookie crumbs by blending graham crackers or animal crackers in a food processor or blender until you have a fine crumb consistency.

  3. Form Crust: Transfer the crumb mixture to the prepared baking dish, spreading out in an even layer.  Using the back of a flat measuring cup, evenly and firmly press crumb down. You can also use your fingers or a wooden spoon to press the crust layer.

  4. Layer Remaining Ingredients: Sprinkle pecans, coconut and chocolate chips over top, each in an even layer covering the entire pan. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over top, making sure it reaches all the edges and covers in an even layer. Sprinkle a little flaky sea salt over top.
  5. Bake Bars: Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30-35 mins, until golden and bubbling.

  6. Cool Bars: Let cool completely in the baking dish or least least until cool enough to transfer to the fridge. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight, before slicing. Chilling the bars before slicing will ensure they hold together perfectly.

  7. Slice Bars: Use the edges of the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the baking dish. Slice into 24 squares and serve.

Notes

Store in a sealed container at room temperature for one week or fridge for up to 10 days. Magic bars freeze well! Store in a sealed container for 3-4 months.

The amount of coconut, chocolate chips and pecans doesn’t have to be exact. I found 1.5 cups of chocolate chips to be quite a lot so feel free to use a bit less if you want. I’d suggest at least 1 cup.

I used one and a half 300 mL cans of President’s Choice sweetened coconut condensed milk. Some other brands come in 195 mL cans, in that case, use 2 cans. If you have a 14 oz can, use the whole can. Don’t worry to much, this doesn’t have to be a precise amount – close to 1.5-1.75 cups is good.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 265
  • Sugar: 23 g
  • Sodium: 145 mg
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Carbohydrates: 32 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 4 g

Keywords: 7 layer magic bars, 7 layer cookie bars