Gluten Free Magic Cookie Bars

These gluten free magic cookie bars use homemade or store bought gf graham crackers and all the traditional goodies you want!

stacked gluten free magic cookie bars

For the longest time, I never thought I’d be able to eat another magic cookie bar, aka seven layer bar. But with my homemade gluten free graham crackers, I’m lucky to be able to make these again. And I might even say that these are better than I remember them ever being! Maybe it’s the leftover Easter M&M’s, but I don’t really care because I’ll keep making them again and again.

What are Magic Cookie Bars?

If you’re not as old as me, you may not have a clue what magic cookie bars are. I grew up with these wonderful little treats that were originally developed by Eagle Brand, the company who created sweetened condensed milk. They also go by another name, Seven Layer Bars. The reason these are called “magic” is because you layer everything into a pan, pour sweetened condensed milk over the top, and bake. When they come out of the oven, the sweetened condensed milk has baked into each layer, creating a bar that holds together and tastes amazing!

Tips for Making Gluten Free Magic Cookie Bars

All magic cookie bars are easy peasy, including gluten free magic cookie bars. There are just a few steps that I like to follow to ensure they’ll come out perfect:

  • Gluten free graham cracker crumbs. You can get my homemade gf graham crackers in the oven in literally 10 minutes tops. But there are store bought ones for those who don’t want to make them (I like Schar brand {affiliate link} the best).
  • Butter. Melt and add it to the graham cracker crumbs and mix. Pat into the bottom of the pan and press lightly.
  • Toppings. Choose whatever toppings you want. I use chocolate chips, nuts (toasted pecans), butterscotch chips, and coconut (unsweetened is my preference). But if I have white chocolate chips or M&M’s (like these cute pastel Easter ones), I throw them in, too.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk. The star ingredient, the “glue” that holds it all together. I could literally drink this stuff. Anything it touches, it turns to gold. There seems to be great debate over when to add the liquid “gold,” before or after putting on the toppings. I like to add it both before and after the toppings. Add all the chips and then the milk, followed by the nuts, coconut, and anything else (M&M’s). That way there’s “glue” right smack dab in the middle, so everything has a great chance of sticking together. Then press everything down using the bottom of a small measuring cup (or your hands, but it gets messy).
  • Flake salt. There’s a whole lotta sweet going on in these bars, so a little sprinkling of salt helps balance out the sweetness. I like to use flake salt because I have it on hand and I like the big bursts of salt.
overhead shot of two magic cookie bars

Size Does Matter!

I’m talking about pan size here so get your minds out of the gutter! While the tradition is to use a 9 by 13-inch pan, I choose to make mine in an 8 by 11-inch pan. This is so the bars will be a little thicker and I can then cut them smaller. All those toppings need a good sturdy base to hold them all together. Making the bars just a little bit thicker is like proper bar “engineering.” 😁

We can now make gluten free magic cookie bars with ease. They’re just as sweet and sticky (and delicious!) as we remember!

stacked gluten free magic cookie bars

Gluten Free Magic Cookie Bars

Magic cookie bars, seven layer bars. Whatever you call them, these treats have been around for AGES! Made gluten free with store bought gluten free graham crackers, now we can all enjoy magic cookie bars 🙂
Print Recipe
CourseDessert
CuisineAmerican
KeywordGluten Free, magic cookie bars, seven layer bars
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings30 bars
AuthorKim

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (200 g) homemade gluten free graham cracker crumbs (or store bought)
  • 1 stick (½ cup or 113 g) butter, melted
  • 1 cup (170 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (170 g) butterscotch chips *(see notes below)
  • ½ cup (85 g) white chocolate chips
  • 1 14-ounce can (396 g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup chopped toasted nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc)
  • 1 cup (71 g) unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 10-ounce (283.5 g) bag M&M's
  • flake sea salt for sprinkling on top, if desired

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line an 8 by 11-inch baking pan with parchment paper to overhang on opposite sides. Set aside.
  • Place graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and grind into fine crumbs.  Mix with melted butter and press into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  • Add chocolate, butterscotch, and white chocolate chips. Slowly pour the sweetened condensed milk over the chips. Follow this by the toasted nuts and coconut, and then the M&Ms. Use the bottom of a measuring cup or glass to press down somewhat firmly on the M&Ms to adhere them into the bars. Finish with flake salt.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until set.  Cool.  Cut into small bars.  

Notes

*several brands of butterscotch chips are NOT gluten free. Hershey’s butterscotch chips and Aldi brands are.  


4 thoughts on “Gluten Free Magic Cookie Bars”

    • I’m so sorry, Amy!! I totally left out the oven temp. It’s 350 degrees. I changed it already. The coconut is 1 1/2 cups, which is already listed in the ingredients.

      My apologies!

  • These look sooo amazing & perfect for any occasion! Yours look so cute with Easter colors! I bet you could do red & green for Christmas etc.

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