Magic Cookie Bars are an ooey-gooey treat made with a graham cracker crust and loaded with a variety of candy chips, all topped with a layer of coconut. Try my Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars for another sweet treat.

Magic Cookie Bars

I literally made these Magic Cookie Bars 2 hours ago.  Tonight my husband, kids and I are going to a small gathering and I could not be happier about it.  With all the events of the world of late, I feel so blessed that we are able to be with loving, caring people. Even in the midst of personal trials and national devastation, I turned to something that always brings me joy. Baking.

Magic Cookie Bars

Seven Layer Bars

These are traditionally called seven-layer bars, but the reason I am calling them “garbage bars” is because I simply emptied out my pantry to make them. The bars are based on a recipe from my Mother-in-Law’s church cookbook and been around for many, many years!

Garbage Bars Recipe

Instead of using semi-sweet chocolate and chopped nuts as the original recipe called for, I used 1/2 cup of four different kinds of treats.

Just a few ingredients for Special Magic Cookie Bars!

Optional Ingredients for Magic Bars

1/2 cup Peanut Butter Chips

1/2 cup Milk Chocolate Chips

1/2 cup White Chocolate Chips

1/2 cup Butterscotch Chips

I thought they turned out pretty great!

Sweet… like -holy heck are they sweet- but great none the less.


Amazingly Sweet Magic Cookie Bars!

Magic Bars Recipe

If you want to stick to the traditional recipe simply use 2 cups of chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet) and 1 cup chopped nuts. Another fun variation? Try adding 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon to the graham cracker crust!

I just love how “custom” these bars are.  You can truly make them yours by using your favorite ingredients!

Amazing Garbage Bars!


Garbage Bars

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
The bars are based off a recipe from my Mother-in-Law’s church cookbook and are called Magic Cookie Bars and they have been around for many, many years!


  • cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 15 ounces can of sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup peanut butter chips
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips, or semi-sweet
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup coconut flakes, the original calls for 1 1/2 cups, but I am not a coconut fan


  • Heat oven to 350°F.
  • Melt butter in microwave or small saucepan over low heat. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over bottom of 9x13 pan then pour butter over crumbs. Flatten out crumbs with fork and make sure butter is evenly incorporated.
  • Evenly pour two cups of flavored chips over graham cracker crust.
  • Pour condensed milk over chips.
  • Cover with coconut flakes. (Or shredded coconut)
  • Bake 25 minutes. Edges will be brown and center should not jiggle.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. I made these recently. I used chocolate graham crackers for the crust. I used semisweet and peanut butterchips, and broken pecans. I left out the coconut (son-in-law doesn’t like coconut) but will sub quick oats next time.

  2. Way too sweet . . . Not a healthy choice. Something with oats and less sugar would be a much better choice

    1. Hi Jane! I don’t know if you noticed, but I am not a “healthy” focused food blogger. If you don’t like sweets, sorry to say that this website won’t make you happy.

  3. Hi Amanda, I just came on here to check the ingredients because in your cookbook (which I love) it calls for “four 14 ounce cans sweetened condensed milk” and I knew that couldn’t be right. Oops!

    1. I know. 😭 I’m so sorry. It is a typo and will be fixed if there is another printing. So glad you checked!

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