Coconut Magic Bars Recipe - AMAZING Magic Cookie Bars! (2024)

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posted by Crissy Pageon Nov 5, 2020 (updated Feb 11, 2024) 112 comments »

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My birthday is coming up on December 13th (we won’t discuss my age…) and all I want are these absolutely incredible coconut magic bars.

My mom has agreed to make them for me and I am so excited. This is my all-time favorite dessert recipe. No, seriously!

Coconut Magic Bars Recipe - AMAZING Magic Cookie Bars! (1)

Coconut Magic Bars Recipe

These coconut magic bars (sometimes called magic cookie bars or even just magic bars) are so easy to make that it’s almost funny.

It doesn’t seem like something so TASTY could result from layering a few ingredients in a baking dish. Y’all, these coconut magic bars are like HEAVEN.

For a different twist, try these decadent mint chocolate magic bars.

Coconut Magic Bars Recipe - AMAZING Magic Cookie Bars! (2)

I don’t typically go for dessert recipes that are quite this decadent, but I am just such a huge fan of the flavor combination. I am in love with coconut, chocolate, and pecans.

I could literally eat a whole pan of these bars!

Coconut Magic Bars Recipe - AMAZING Magic Cookie Bars! (3)

Even though these aren’t exactly a festive holiday dessert, I also love making them for our Christmas celebrations. My whole family looks forward to these scrumptious coconut magic cookie bars. If you’re looking for more easy desserts, don’t miss my yummy and simple cherry dump cake recipe.

Seven Layer Bars

So, quite a few of you have left comments on Facebook telling me that you are familiar with this recipe, but you call them seven layer bars.

Leave me a comment below and tell me what your family calls this tasty treat!

Coconut Magic Bars Recipe - AMAZING Magic Cookie Bars! (4)

Do you have a favorite dessert that you love having on your birthday? These coconut magic bars are out of this world and they may just become your new favorite dessert! :) Check out our fun tutorial video below to see just how easy these chewy bars are to make!

Coconut Magic Bars Recipe - AMAZING Magic Cookie Bars! (5)

Yield: 16 servings

These ooey-gooey coconut magic cookie bars are my favorite dessert EVER!


  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs, approximately 15 to 16 full sheets
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • ¾ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 ⅔ cups sweetened condensed milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Crush graham the crackers. Stir the brown sugar into the graham crackers; set aside.
  3. Put the ½ cup butter into an 8 x 8 baking pan; heat in the oven until butter is completely melted.
  4. Remove from the oven and evenly spread the graham cracker and brown sugar mixture over the melted butter.
  5. In layers, alternate the chocolate chips, coconut, and the pecans. Evenly pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until the coconut is lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting.

More Scrumptious Desserts

  • Cake Mix Cookie Bars
  • Chewy Pecan Pie Bars
  • Cherry Bliss Brownies
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
  • Shoo Fly Pie
Coconut Magic Bars Recipe - AMAZING Magic Cookie Bars! (6)

originally published on Nov 5, 2020 (last updated Feb 11, 2024)

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112 comments on “Coconut Magic Bars”

  1. Rachel Clinton Reply

    These sound amazing! I’m sure my family will love them. It’s so similar to the coconut pecan frosting that goes on German chocolate cake. (A family favorite) thank you for the great recipe:)

  2. Lisa Campbell Reply

    Nanaimo bars!

  3. Lina Burhan Reply

    TOOOO sweet! I should have omitted the brown sugar and used less chocolate :(

  4. Tim Reply

    We always called them Bethel Bars. Also we don’t use brown sugar but add butterscotch chips in with the chocolate chips. Not a big fan of nuts but my mom makes them that way.

  5. Beth T. Reply

    I first made these in the late 70s–I still have the recipe card somewhere, and remember the adorable handwriting of my Young Women’s leader, who called them “Seven Layer Cookies”. I do think “Hello Dollies” is a very cute name. Your recipe combines a couple of steps in making the crust, which I am always a fan of–it will get me to those delicious cookies more quickly! Thanks for sharing another winning recipe.

  6. Mildred Holland-Harris Reply

    Magic Cookie Bars! I found this recipe on the back of Keebler’s graham cracker box in 2003. So glad. It is a winner in my family.
    I make during holidays or special events! My boys love them!

  7. Julie Reply

    Always called 7 layer bars. We always added butterscotch chips and recently added in white chocolate chips. Made in 9×13 pan. Also u can buy crumbled graham crackers in a box

  8. Laurel Reply

    Hi, could I make these with unsweetened coconut?
    Thanks, Laurel

  9. Susan Brewster Reply

    Cut up some apples and use the milk as dip. Yum.

  10. Judy Reply

    I keep recipes that come on products, this recipe was on the Borden’s condensed milk can I used in the ‘50s. They were called magic bars. Very good but haven’t made them in years, may try them again.

  11. Vicki Carr Reply

    My mother used to make them and she called them magic cookie bars. Back then coconut came in a can and she would always give me the leftover coconut.

  12. Ellen Bartlett Reply

    We’ve made these magic bars since 1966 and have always called them Hello Dolly Bars! They are scrumptious.

  13. Kristy Reply

    My grandma makes plum pudding and it looks so gross. It’s so good though. It’s chocolate cake with a yellow sauce over it. The sauce is mostly just butter and sugar. When my family would get together for the holidays we would ask her to make it. My mom can make the cake. No one can make the sauce like grandma.

  14. linda fletcher Reply

    Please could you tell english equivelent to graham cracker

    • Judy C Reply

      I’ve heard some people use digestives. I think any very crisp, not too sweet biscuit would work. Not sure if you have animal crackers in UK…those work. Shortbread would have too much butter. I’ve also used crushed pretzels and it gives it a sweet salty taste. Hope that help!

  15. Rita Reply

    I guess mine are 8-layer bars since I add dried cranberries (craisins)!

  16. Sarah A Jackson Reply

    Just put a batch of these in the oven and can’t wait to try them.. What do you do with the extra milk? You have to open two standard cans, but that leaves a bit extra. Just curious if you had ideas or if you can just use two full cans or one full can only. Thanks!

    • Susan Brewster Reply

      Cut up some apples and use the milk as dip. Yum.

    • Cathy F Reply

      Add a sprinkle of garlic into the condensed milk with a little bit of liquid cream and mix. You have Donair sauce! Yummy

    • Karen Reply

      I used one 14 oz. can, it worked out just fine for the 8 x 8 pan.

  17. Cari Reply

    My Mom always made these for us when I was growing up and we call them Magic Cookie Bars. I make them every Christmas and occasionally during the year. Everyone loves them…even my non-coconut eating nephew! I change up and change (& mix) types of chips with our favorite being dark chocolate and milk chocolate! Thank you for all your great recipes!

  18. Mary Greenway Reply

    I have been making these for years and we called them Hello Dolly’s. Everything was the same except the light brown sugar. That was not part of the recipe I used. I am anxious to try it with the brown sugar.

  19. Peggy Reply

    We always called these Easy Bars and we use butterscotch chips also.

  20. kate Long Reply

    I love these! I don’t like any kind of nut so I add dried cranberries

  21. Judy C. Reply

    Just wondering…anybody every tried making these with crushed pretzels instead of graham crackers? Seems like it would balance the sweet and give it that whole salty sweet vibe…?

    • Aimee Reply

      This sounds amazing. Have you tried it yet.

      • Judy C

        I did, and we liked it. Sweet & salty!

  22. Nali Reply

    This is extremely addictive and very easily to make. Added extra coconut for my niece who loves it. Without a doubt a “go to” for quick and simple treats the family will love. Thanks for posting.

    Rating: 5

    • Taylor Reply

      I have a relative that makes these, her mom made them, and we’ve called them centennial squares for years.

  23. Robin Reply

    We called them dream bars growing up, and I can’t wait to make them again. It’s been over 30 years!!

    • Melissa Reply

      These are almost the same as our Viennese Squares that I make every Christmas… It was my grandmother’s recipe. Made even simpler, it’s 1/4 butter and 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, I melt the butter in the glass 8×8 pan, so do not even have to use a bowl. I don’t bake the crust first, so it’s gooey. My recipe uses walnuts instead of pecans, and I use 3/4 cup each chocolate (semi-sweet) and peanut butter chips, layered with 1 cup each walnuts and coconut. One can of Eagle Brand poured over everything, then bake at 350°F for 25 minutes. They’re one of my favorites, and so easy to make!!
      I love the suggestion of pretzels, can’t wait to try that version!!

  24. Timbo Reply

    Hi CrissyMy family has made these for many years.We knew them as 7 Layer Bars.And yes, they are amazing.

    Rating: 5

  25. Lisa Reply

    Back when I was growing up they had butterscotch chips too and my momma called them 7 layer cookies, that was back in 60’s and 70’s sooooooo good!

    Rating: 5

  26. Frances Johnson Reply

    I am going to try these my mother made them and they were called Hello dollies but she had cherries on top have you or anyone tried them like this ?

  27. Tahnya Reply

    My family called them Hello Dolly Bars. We also added white chocolate chips to them. Used parchment in pan to make it easier to cut and clean up. The recipe is same except pan size. My Moms calls for a 13×9 pan.They are delicious! Thank you for sharing .

    Rating: 5

  28. Edie Reply

    I’m not a fan of pecans, but will try this with almonds.

  29. Lance Reply

    I made these, and now I’m wondering if it would be too difficult to mix the butter and graham cracker mixture in a bowl, and then press that into the bottom of an 8×8 dish that has been lined with parchment paper? It would certainly make it much easier to pop out (once cooled) for cutting.Has anyone done this?

    Rating: 5

    • Melinda K Reply

      Hi! I have used parchment paper to line my baking dish for easy removal from the pan, & simple cutting into squares to serve! Also, instead of all butter, my family uses half butter, half peanut butter = Yummm! One more substitution we’ve done is Nilla wafers in place of graham crackers (then it’s not as dry on the bottom & an escape from the s’mores effect). Such a delish & easy recipe ~ Enjoy! Thank you!

      Rating: 5

    • Darlene Reply

      That is how I have been making squares for 40+ years Lance…good choice, makes for easy clean up too.

  30. Monique Smith Reply

    Growing up they were called one pan bars, but my mom and I called them one pound bars. You gain a pound for every one you eat

  31. Ingmari Reply

    Since I don’t care for graham crackers , I use Mc Vitie’s original digestive wheat biscuits …

  32. Kay Bouma Reply

    Ih eMate this bar many times. I know them as Hello Dilly Bars. I’m a vendor at a local Farmers Market and use Gluten Free Graham cracker crumbs. I usually omit the pecans as they are so expensive. Hello Dollies are a sellout item .. everyone loves them!

    Rating: 5

    • christine Reply

      yes…pecans are expensive, but walnuts are not.don’t use almonds…just doesn’t work flavor wise to those “thinking about that choice

  33. Kathleen Reply

    We called these bars “ Hello Dollies” and they are so addicting and delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I had forgotten about it and how delicious they are! Guess what I will be making this week!

  34. Laura Michelle Dixon Reply

    We call them centennial squares (my grandmother used to make them) thanks for the recipe.

    Rating: 5

  35. Susan Reply

    We always called them Easy Layer Bars, and had walnuts and butterscotch chips in them too.

    Rating: 5

  36. Melanie Barnes Reply

    My husband says he wants the coconut on top and that everytime his mom made them the coconut was dark brown … guess he means it was toasted. Is there a way to get the coconut extra toasty….

    • Stephanie Reply

      Maybe toast the coconut separately in the oven to get it extra toasty?

    • Janet Roscher Reply

      Put the finished product under the broiler, but watch closely so it doesn’t burn.

    • christine Reply

      the coconut should get lightly toasted just by following the recipe…if it starts getting too dark…cover(tent it) with foil.

  37. Sherry Reply

    My sister sent me this recipe many years ago calling them Emily bars. No explanation for the name…
    They also used a combination of chocolate and butterscotch chips.
    Addicting/ habit forming!!

  38. Ame Reply

    My family called them Port Alberni Bars. Haven’t had them in years but I think I’ll have to make them later!

    • Diane Reply

      Not sure why..but mine burned. Are you supposed to mix the butter and Graham crackers instead of just putting it over butter?

  39. Kenneth L Robinson Reply

    I want to make these diabetic friendly. I have suitable substitutes for most of the items. But I can’t find a sub for Sweetened Condensed Milk.

    Any suggestions?

  40. Marjorie Reply

    This was a wonderful bar! I did have problems with the graham cracker and butter layer. For some reason this layer completely separated from the rest of the bar. Any ideas of what I should do differently the next time? This has also happened at other times with completely different recipes, by the way….

    Rating: 5

    • Bianca Reply

      I put some of the sweetened condensed milk on top of the graham butter mixture before adding the other ingredients and then topped it with the remaining condensed milk. Hope that helps!

  41. Dee thomas Reply

    I just made this sinfully delicious dessert and my husband is hooked. Thank you for sharing your delicious and simple recipe.

  42. Lorna Button Reply

    seriously brilliant and so easy to make. My husband who does not do desserts, loved this and wanted me to make it every week!

    Rating: 5

  43. Jeanette Reply

    My family called them “Hello Dollies”. My Mom used to make them for church coffee hours, Christmas and sometimes, just because. I can’t wait to make some. Thanks! Jeanette

  44. Tami Reply

    My mom called them Hello Dolly Bars. I loved them as a kid and still do!!

  45. Lorna Button Reply

    Made them and they were seriously gorgeous.I used crushed up ginger nut biscuits as we don’t have Graham crackers here.It worked very well. Will certainly make them again. Thanks.

    Rating: 5

  46. Eva Jett Reply

    If I remember correctly, my Mom called these Congo Bars and I LOVED them. So glad to find this recipe. I must try them soon.

  47. Jordan wolff Reply

    We do something similar, but we add a layer of butterscotch morsels. We also called them magic bars. A family favorite for sure.

    Rating: 5

  48. Marie Reply

    Easy to make & delicious! Def will keep making them ?

    Rating: 5

  49. Eileen Sinclair Reply

    What would be the equivalent of the Graham crackers? I am longing to try this recipe.

  50. Lezlie Reply

    I cheated & used the already crushed graham crackers. I used the mini chocolate chips because that’s what I had in the pantry. I think it’s just as good. Easy recipe, very few dirty dishes to clean & I will make definitely manjeri this again. Next time I want to double the recipe so there’s more to share! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!

    Rating: 5

    • Anne Jones Reply

      This brings back so many wonderful memories! When I was a child, my grandmother made them every Christmas. I LOVED them ( and her!).
      We called them Magic Cookie Bars!

  51. Karen Reply

    Just made this recipe! It’s baking as we speak. I can’t eat nuts, so I didn’t use the pecans. Since that didn’t add bulk to the overall recipe, I only used a cup of the sweetened condensed milk. I hope that works. I’ll let you know!

    • Karen Reply

      How did this turn out without the nuts? I can’t eat them either.

      • Maureen

        We have nut allergies in our family so I leave them out. I have been making these for years. We call them 7 ingredient bars and my in-laws call them Hello Dollies. My recipe doesn’t have brown sugar in the crust. We just add the melted butter to the Graham wafer crumbs and refrigerate to set before adding the toppings and baking. We add a cup of chocolate chips, a cup of butterscotch chips, a cup of coconut and a can of Eagle Brand condensed milk. Omitting the nuts due to allergies.

  52. Maggie Dessing Reply

    My family has always called them 7 layer cookies. A few suggestions, if you mix the butter into the crackers and gently pat them down into the pan and then pour half of the can of condensed milk then layer the rest of the ingredients and pour the rest of the condensed milk on top they will cut beautifully, even the first square!

    Rating: 5

    • Nirvana Jaganath Reply

      So is 1 1/3 cup condensed milk one 14 oz tin/can? Thanks

  53. E Reply

    I first tasted these over 10 years ago with butterscotch chips. Been meaning to make it since but never did. Brought them to a Christmas party last night and it was a hit with everyone. I used a 9 x 13 glass pan and added one-half of the original recipe (doubling it would have been too much but i can see it being doable. Bake longer accordingly). It was perfect.

    Rating: 5

  54. Pamela Lottero Reply

    I want to add Carmel squares. Do you think it would affect it much?
    Thank you,

  55. Lori Reply

    ******Question: ******Should the leftovers be refrigerated or is it not necessary? I made these tonight and we loved them but they were too sweet for us. Sending the rest to work with my husband in the morning. Not sure if they will keep on the counter or not????

    Rating: 5

  56. Pam S Reply

    My mother made them years ago and called them Hello Dollies but since then I have seen them called Magic Cookie Bars. Whatever you call them, they’re delicious and always a favorite of mine!

    Rating: 5

  57. Angela Reply

    My grandma made these every Christmas! We call them Hello Dollies. My brother just asked me to make him some for Christmas.

    Rating: 5

  58. Susan Reply

    Hello Dolly’s! But mine has butterscotch chips also. They are a favorite here too!

  59. Katherine Reply

    I made these for my birthday coming up on the 15th. These are the best magic coconut bars ever! Super simple and easy to make, and taste delicious!!

    Rating: 5

  60. Irene Reply

    They look and sound they would be very good!
    Do these freeze well?

    • Renee Reply

      I’ve made these many, many times (my recipe uses butterscotch chips and makes a 9 x 13 pan) and yes they freeze very well.

  61. Emily Reply

    Just wondering what the recipe would be in grams? Would really like to make them!

    • Cheryl Shaw Reply

      Just now seeing this, but you can Google measurement conversion, and it will tell you the correct conversion.

      Example: Google cups to grams, or ounces to grams, etc… Just thought I’d reply, hope it helps.

  62. Deb Reply

    One of my all time favorites, too! I used to make them all the time while I was growing up. We called them, “Hello Dollies.”

    Rating: 5

  63. Nan Reply

    We call them Magic Bars and use a mix of semi sweet chips and butterscotch chips.

  64. Cheryl Reply

    Looking forward to making this for Christmas- can the bars be frozen? I’m trying to get much of my Christmas baking done ahead of time

  65. Cathy Coyer Reply

    I looked all over for my recipe yesterday to take to our Thanksgivving meal. Today looking for something completely different (quit ideas) I stumble on it. Guess I’ll be taking it to our Christmas meal! Thanks so much!

  66. Caitlyn Wood Reply

    Could I make these tonight and leave them covered on my counter until tomorrow?

    • Elaine Reply

      Yes! I did. Then brought them to a party the following evening.

  67. P Thomas Reply

    This is a very old recipe called “Hello Dollies”. I have no idea where the name originated but I’ve made this recipe for the holidays for about 30 years, I think. Love your emails!! Peggy

    Rating: 5

    • Crissy Reply

      Hi Peggy, thanks so much for commenting! I hope to be making this recipe for 30 years someday also! :)

  68. Randee Hochspeier Reply

    My daughter and I have been making cookie baskets for 36 years. We call these yummy ones, Junk Bars, because we use up all the leftover coconut, chocolate, butterscotch, white chips and of course nuts!!!

    Rating: 5

    • Crissy Reply

      JUNK BARS! I love your name for them!! Thanks for commenting Randee! :)

  69. Sherry Reply

    I’m making it now, it’s in the oven as I speak ??

  70. Kathy Thomas Reply

    Not a comment. A question. If I double this could I do this in a 9 by 13 pan.
    Kathy Thomas

    • Angela Keller Reply

      I don’t double them and I make them in a 13×9. The bar is definitely thinner but my family likes them better this way!

  71. Amy Levesque Reply

    The toughest part of this recipe is waiting 30 minutes after taking them out of the oven to cut them and have the first one! Absolutely delicious!

    Rating: 5

    • Crissy Reply

      Girl, I know! This is my all time favorite dessert!

  72. Marie | DIY Adulation Reply

    These look amazing!! I love coconut and these look so decadent. We will definitely be making these soon. Thanks for sharing your delicious recipe with us at Merry Monday this week!

  73. Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook Reply

    These look irresistibly good! Thanks for sharing!

  74. Alma Reply

    I wonder if I could use coconut oil instead of butter? And fresh coconut meat instead of dried? I will definitely make this with the subs I mentioned and will update you soon .thank you

    • Jada Reply

      Yes you can

    • mimi Reply

      I have been making these for 45 years but have never seen them done with brown sugar. I will definitely be trying this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing.

      Rating: 5

  75. Rhonda Reply

    We share a birthday!!! I love these bar!!

    Rating: 5

  76. Tonna Smedley Reply

    Hey it looks amazing

  77. John Smith Reply

    These look incredible! What great treats!

  78. Dana Reply

    These are delicious! Currently making my second batch in as many weeks. Thanks for sharing!

  79. ellen beck Reply

    Oh yeah for me these would be magic alright, they would disappear quickly! I like this combination of flavors, I bet ithas a hint of an almond joy taste with the coconut and the chocolate. I wonder if you can put some almond extract in? Hmmm

    Rating: 5

  80. Pat Weldon Reply

    Going to give these a try!

  81. Sonia Reply

    I have made these for years, 30+, but never put brown sugar in crust. They are so seeet without.As a small history lesson, my Mother made them too but they called them “Hello Dolly’s”.

    Rating: 5

  82. Mary Reply

    Looks very good. Would try it out this month.

    Rating: 5

  83. Ana Reply

    Wow, this looks really great!!! I am going to make this TODAY!! :D YUM

    Rating: 5

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