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Graham Cracker Cookie Bars, with or without coconut, has a graham cracker crust topped with layers of ingredients. The ingredients are held together by sweetened condensed milk that turns into caramel when baked.

Graham Cracker Cookie

The basic recipe is also known as Magic Cookie Bars, Seven Layer Bars, 7 Layer Magic Bars, Hello Dolly Bars, and the list probably goes on and on. The original recipe had graham cracker crust, layers of butterscotch, coconut, chocolate, and nuts. The recipe is easy to change and manipulate just by altering some ingredients.

Graham Cracker Cookie Bars topped with m&m's.

This recipe has been around for years because it’s so simple and delicious. It’s one of the first recipes that many kids learn to make. (My second grader did everything except process the graham cracker crumbs and open the sweetened condensed milk!

magic bars

The hardest part of this recipe is letting them cool before you cut them. If you don’t, they’ll crumble into a million sloppy pieces, although they’ll still taste good!

Graham Cracker Cookie Bar ingredients

Here’s what you need to make this recipe, plus one stick of butter.

Graham Cracker Cookie

Melt butter in the 9×13-inch baking pan.

Graham Cracker Cookie Bars

Layer the next ingredients in order of the recipe. First, sprinkle the graham crackers crumbs over the melted butter.

Graham Cracker Cookie Bars

Next, scatter the coconut over the graham cracker crumbs. Omit the coconut if you don’t like it. You don’t need to substitute another ingredient.

Graham Cracker Cookie Bars

Next up is the mini-chocolate chips. If you don’t have mini chips, you can use regular sizes.

Graham Cracker Cookie

Sprinkle the peanut butter chips over the chocolate chips and continue with the recipe.

Graham Cracker Cookie

Candy-coated chocolate is most commonly known as M&M candies. You can use any flavor. They have a lot of different flavors now. I typically stick with the traditional chocolate candies.

Graham Cracker Cookie Bars

Finally, spread the peanut evenly over the other ingredients. You can omit the peanuts or use another nut.

Graham Cracker Cookie Bars

The Magic

The magic ingredient that binds all the other ingredients together is the sweetened condensed milk. Pour it evenly over the other ingredients.

Give the pan a couple of gentle bangs on the countertop to compact the ingredients. There’s no need to spread it with a spatula. The sweetened condensed milk will ooze into all the nooks and crannies when it gets hot.

You’re now ready to bake the bars.

Graham Cracker Cookie Bars

Remember to let the bars cool before cutting. If needed, you can speed up the cooling process by putting them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While you’re here, check out these recipes

  1. Muddy Buddy Bars
  2. Lemon Curd Fluff Bars
  3. Oatmeal Caramel Crush Bars
  4. Peanut Butter M&M Truffles
  5. Caramel Chocolate Mud Hen Bars
  6. Pecan Pie Magic Cookie Bars
  7. Graham Cracker Blondies

Please remember that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary based on the products used.

I updated this post from an earlier version. I made new photos and simplified the recipe instructions.

Graham Cracker Cookie

Graham Cracker Cookie Bars

Graham Cracker Cookie Bars has a graham cracker crust that topped with layers of ingredients.
Author: Paula
4.34 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
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  • ½ cup butter no substitutes
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs about 16 squares
  • 1 cup coconut optional
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • ½ cup candy coated chocolate
  • 1 cup peanuts cand omit or sub another nut
  • 14 -ounces sweetened condensed milk


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in 9×13-inch pan.
  • (Layer ingredients in order listed.)
  • Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over butter.
  • Sprinkle coconut over crumbs.
  • Sprinkle chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, candy, then nuts.
  • Pour one can sweetened condensed milk over all.
  • Bake at 350 degrees 25 minutes or until brown and bubbly. Cool completely before cutting.


Calories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 153mg | Potassium: 187mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 283IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Please take a moment to comment letting me know how you liked it & consider giving it a 5 star rating. I love hearing from you!
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  1. 4 stars
    Loved the combination of goodies. So easy to prepare. Getting it out of the pan was a problem for me. Even when letting it cool had hard time lossing it up from the sides. Then had difficult lifiting out pieces as it either stuck or was still to gooey, regardless the chucks are very good. Was only able to get a few decent squares cutout. Next time, yes there will be a next time, will use partchment paper on bottom of pan and melt butter separtely.

  2. Where do you find a 19 by 13 inch pan? Not sure it will even fit in my oven 🙂

    1. That should be 9×13 inch pan. Sorry for that. I’ll correct that but I’m having trouble editing right now. Sorry for the delay in responding.

  3. Hi.
    It sounds very nutritious, and the colorful candy coated chocolate looks like exotic planets. Thanks for sharing a great recipe.

  4. I love your blog, I'm following you now as well. The bad thing about this recipe is I sent a little more than half of it to school AND ATE THE REST in TWO days!!! geez – desserts are def my weakness!

  5. This is Mom's old recipe and it actually calls for butterscotch chips but my son doesn't like them so I substituted. I also hid the coconut under the other ingredients! 🙂 A Mom's got to do what a Mom's got to do!

  6. This is all kinds of awesome!!! I don't “do” peanut butter, but I'll bet butterscotch chips could be subbed easily instead. Marking for my 7 year old's birthday party in *gasp* 6 weeks!!!

  7. My kids and I are drooling all over the keyboard looking at these! lol Your website is just filled with so many great ideas – I can tell that I'll be a regular visitor! My kids referred to the picture above as candy heaven. 😀

    I'm visiting after connecting on Twitter and I'm now following you via email and GFC. Would love for you to visit us and reciprocate if you can. Cheers,

    Renee @

  8. Thanks for linking this to the Mommy Brain Mixer!! Yum…and you're right, that is super-easy!!

  9. Those look amazing!! Need to make some myself now.

    Visiting from Mommy Brain Mixer! And new follower. 🙂

    – Jaime

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Your email address will not be published. Have you tried this recipe? Consider giving it 5 stars!