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Vegan Magic Bars

With layers of sweet coconut and chocolate, these lightened-up and secretly vegan magic bars will be devoured in seconds!

healthy magic squares recipe

magic bars words

Chances are you’ve probably seen at least one version of this traditional potluck favorite dessert, which goes by many names:

Hello Dolly Bars, Coconut Dream Bars, Seven Layer Bars, Magic Cookie Bars, Coconut Magic Squares

Over the years, these bars have been one of the most frequent recipe requests I’ve gotten from readers, and it’s not hard to see why the recipe is so popular!

A soft graham cracker crust topped with layers of coconut and chocolate makes the bars truly as magical as their title suggests.

And while traditional magic square recipes call for sweetened condensed milk, eggs, and at least a third cup of butter, I’ve cut all of that out in this new healthier and vegan recipe… and absolutely no one I’ve ever served them to has noticed a difference!

You May Also Like: Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies– The Classic Recipe

vegan seven layer bars

With just five main ingredients, the magic bars are ridiculously easy to prepare.

The question of what to make for your Super Bowl party this weekend?

Solved – you should definitely make these Winking smile

I first made these magic squares for a rooftop party last summer and have been holding onto the recipe ever since, waiting for the perfect time to send it out into the world.

Figured now is as good a time as any, so here they finally are… I hope you will love them!

Please feel free to tag me – ChocolateCoveredKatie on Instagram – if you make a batch, because nothing makes me happier than knowing people are making the things I post.

healthy magic squares

Seriously, you all are the best.

Vegan Coconut Magic Squares (7 Layer Bars) Recipe

Also Try These Easy Cinnamon Rolls

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Vegan Magic Bars

These lightened-up and secretly vegan magic bars will be devoured in seconds!
4.92/5 (13)
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 12 - 16 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs (9 cookie sheets OR for grain free, make these Keto Magic Bars instead)
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup or sugar of choice, or pinch uncut stevia
  • if using stevia, add 2 tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped dates OR more chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped nuts, optional
  • 2/3 cup full-fat shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
  • 1 1/4 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp oil or buttery spread, optional

Instructions

  • *Some of the readers who've made this recipe have loved the bars as-is, but a few readers asked how to make the crust more like traditional Magic Square crust. If you want a crust that is less soft, just include the optional 3 tbsp oil or buttery spread with the graham cracker crumbs before pressing down.
    Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper going a little up each side. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a bowl, toss the graham cracker crumbs with the sweetener (and water if using stevia), then transfer evenly to the bottom of the prepared pan. Press down. Sprinkle the chocolate chips, dates, coconut, and optional nuts over top. Now evenly pour the coconut milk over top. Place in the oven. Bake 33 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit 10-15 minutes to firm up. (If still too soft for some reason, they also get much firmer if you refrigerate overnight.) Slice into bars, wiping the knife after each cut.
    View Nutrition Facts

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4.92/5 (13)

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Published on January 29, 2018

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
featured on The 
Today Show, CNN, 
Fox, The 
Huffington Post, and 
ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day!

Learn more about Katie

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Reader Interactions

75 Comments

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  1. Natasha @ Thoughts of Tradition says

    I love the combination of coconut and chocolate. I’ve seen magic bar recipes in the past, and they’re always packed with so much sugar and butter. This looks like a much tastier and healthier alternative.

  2. jordan @ dancing for donuts says

    omg i CANNOT wait to make these (hopefully this weekend for a superbowl party!) – my boyfriend and i love magic bars, but i can’t bring myself to make them for us because i know how much garbage is in them usually. i love that this recipe is the opposite of that!! thanks for sharing and have a great week 🙂

  3. Nina says

    These sounds perfect. I love that I have everything in the house to make these. Definitely making them for Super Bowl!

  4. Amber Welch says

    Okay to be honest, after making tons of your recipes, this one might be the one I’m most excited about EVER!!! I love these things and now I can have them again. I’m a very, very happy person right now!

  5. Crystal says

    Hi Katie, I just want to take an opportunity to say thank you. I am a mom of two and have been struggling with autoimmune issues for almost three years. I am on a autoimmune diet. I am not always able to follow your ingredients exactly but generally can sub in ingredients that work with my diet and get a decent result. It can be a bit depressing being put on strict diets for health reasons. Your blog and recipes inspire me to get creative and still enjoy food. My family thanks you for being so generous with your recipes!!!

  6. B says

    These look awesome! I love traditional magic bars, but not all the calories that are in them! Will be trying!
    Could you please tell me where you got that shirt? Its so cute! 🙂

  7. Donna Tecce says

    Hi these do look great. U probably hate hearing about substitutions, but Graham crackers. Not happening.
    Grain free completely. Any other thoughts?
    Ty!

  8. jacquie says

    those look awesome! these used to be a favorite but the thought of all that sweetness just makes me shudder. I was wondering about the dates and if i could substitute something else for those such as dried cranberries or apricots. do you think that would work? thanks

  9. Andrée says

    First of all, I love your recipes!! I make something at least weekly! I made these today and the crust became very mushy. I guess I expected a little crunch. Are they supposed to have some substance to the crust? Maybe did something wrong or any suggestions?
    Thank you! And keep up the awesome work Katie!

    • Jason Sanford says

      Hmm no the crust IS supposed to be a soft but firm crust, not crunchy, so you did it correctly. If you want it crunchier, maybe add a little oil to the graham crackers? It would up the calories though. Personally I prefer a softer crust!
      Jason

    • Amy says

      It’s because there’s no butter or oil like there usually is in the crumb crusts; I didn’t like the crust that much either so next time I’m going to make a regular crumb crust.

  10. Amy says

    I made these the same day I got the email! They are very close to the ones we make which use Nutter Butters for the crust. These tasted the same except, of course, for the crust, so next time I’m going to do the standard graham cracker crust (with butter) and mix peanut butter or PB2 into it!

  11. MJ says

    Tried to make these last night as they sound amazing and Katie’s recipes have never let me down. Not sure what I did wrong (the recipe is so simple!) but this came out like mush. Didn’t really firm up at all! I was was doubtful from the start that the crust would hold
    Together without butter or oil, and that the coconut milk could hold the bars together (I used full
    Fat as recommended)

      • Ann says

        Thanks for the tip! Mine needed a few hours of refrigeration but they firmed up and were perfect by the time I went to serve them!
        Great recipe, will definitely be making it again!

  12. Amy Hourigan says

    Made the this afternoon and they are yummy!
    I made them with the homemade graham crackers from the site (which were super easy to make) because I forgot to buy s box.

  13. Jane says

    That magic bars looks tasty and easy to cook. My family love eating chocolate and I’ve been wondering on how to make it into a more healthy dessert such as cookies and I found it here, thank you so much Katie =). If you guys want to cook and eat more dessert without feeling guilty also help you to lose weight come and visit me here http://bit.ly/2DV4l0m

  14. Lesley says

    Amazing! I actually like them better than the old recipe for magic bars because they’re less sweet. You won’t be disappointed!

  15. Rachel says

    These sound amazing! Do you think they’d ship well domestically? I’m looking for a vegan cookie recipe to make and ship to my sister-in-law. Thank you!

  16. Susan says

    Thank you for this recipe!I love the taste of the “regular” bars but my body does not. These were much easier on my blood sugar and approved by the 7 year-old. I also used chocolate graham crackers! I did use reduced fat coconut milk and then put them in the refrigerator overnight and they were just fine.

  17. Gabrielle says

    I have everything to make these, but I ran out of coconut milk! ? Can I substitute it with Coconut condensed milk? Thank you for sharing your amazing recipes! Everything I’ve made has been so tasty. ?

  18. Kristi says

    Delicious!! I used GF graham crackers, maple syrup, dates, unsweetened coconut, Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips & soy free vegan butter. These taste just like Magic Bars but they aren’t to sweet like magic bars! Fantastic will make them again!

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