These magic cookie bars are layered with sweet coconut, gooey chocolate chips, and a buttery graham cracker crust. People are always asking for the recipe!
What are magic cookie bars?
The popular coconut bars go by many different names.
You may know them as Hello Dolly bars, Seven Layer bars, Magic Squares, Coconut Dream bars, or Coconut Magic Cookie bars.
The recipe starts with a two ingredient graham cracker crust, followed by layers of shredded coconut, chocolate chips, and often other ingredients like chopped walnuts, pecans, or sometimes even butterscotch chips.
Whatever you wish to call them, magic cookie bars are downright delicious!
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Easy seven layer bars
If you need a crowd friendly recipe to serve at a barbecue, shower, potluck, or dinner party, classic magic cookie bars are the perfect choice.
The recipe is easy to transport and needs no refrigeration, making it a great option for your next holiday party.
Make them for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or Fourth of July. These coconut cookie bars are a welcome addition to any event.
Still craving coconut? Make Coconut Ice Cream
Ingredients for coconut magic bars
The recipe calls for graham crackers, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, optional nuts, oil or butter, and sweetener of choice.
There’s no sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk (like the one from Eagle Brand) required for these.
Feel free to choose dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or semi sweet chocolate chips. Or for a fun alternative, swap out at least a third of the chocolate chips with peanut butter chips, cinnamon chips, or butterscotch chips.
You can also add chopped dates, raisins, dried cranberries or other dried fruit, diced walnuts, almonds, or pecans. The recipe is very versatile.
If you wish to use a basic bar cookie crust, gluten free crust, or almond flour crust in place of the graham cracker crust, this is fine as well.
For best results, go with full fat shredded coconut, not low fat. Both sweetened and unsweetened varieties work well.
Canned coconut milk is the only milk that works. Substituting refrigerated coconut milk beverage or any other type of milk, including lite coconut milk, is not recommended.
The recipe is traditionally egg free. To make vegan magic cookie bars, simply use dairy free butter or the coconut oil option.
Use leftover chocolate chips for Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Step by step recipe video
Watch the magic cookie bar recipe video – above
How to make magic cookie bars
Line an eight inch square baking pan with parchment paper, covering the bottom of the pan and a bit up the sides. Set this pan aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
To make your own graham cracker crumbs at home, throw nine or ten full graham cracker sheets into a food processor. Process until fine crumbs form.
If you prefer an easier option, just buy graham cracker crumbs in a box at the grocery store or Target. You will need about one and a half cups for this recipe.
In a mixing bowl, toss the crushed graham crackers with the melted butter or coconut oil until evenly mixed.
Transfer to the prepared pan, and press down very firmly until the crust covers the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Tip: use a second sheet of parchment paper or wax paper so your hands do not get sticky and messy.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips, optional chopped dates and nuts, and the shredded coconut over the graham cracker crust.
Open the can of coconut milk. If its contents are hard and not easy to stir, transfer to a bowl or saucepan and gently warm on the stove or in the microwave until smooth.
Whisk the sweetener into the milk with a fork or wire whisk.
Pour the sweetened coconut milk evenly over the top of the layers in the pan. Then place the baking pan on the center rack of the oven, and bake for 35 minutes.
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Storage tips for the coconut bars
Let the pan cool, during which time the magic squares will firm up. If you want them even firmer, cover very loosely with paper towels and refrigerate overnight.
Slice into bars, and enjoy.
Store leftovers in an airtight covered container in a cool, dry place on the counter for up to four days. Or cover and refrigerate for up to a week.
You can also freeze the coconut squares, with a sheet of parchment paper in between each layer of bars, for up to about two months.
Thaw frozen magic cookie bars before serving.
Also try these Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars
Magic Cookie Bars
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (9 sheets) or make Keto Magic Bars
- 3 tbsp butter or coconut oil (melted)
- 2/3 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup diced dates or additional chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup diced walnuts (optional)
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup or honey
- 1 1/4 cup canned coconut milk (not lite)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Toss the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter or oil. Transfer to a parchment-lined 8 inch baking pan, and press down very firmly. Sprinkle chocolate chips, optional dates and nuts, and shredded coconut evenly over top. If coconut milk is hard, gently warm it in a saucepan or microwave until smooth. Whisk sweetener into the milk. Pour evenly over the top of the layers in the pan. Bake 35 minutes. Let cool, during which time the bars firm up. Slice and enjoy, or very loosely cover and refrigerate overnight, during which time the bars get even firmer. Store leftovers in a covered container on the counter, refrigerator, or freezer.View Nutrition Facts
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