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8 Layer Magic Bars – Quick Easy Dessert

8 Layer Magic Bars are the perfect last minute dessert! Using common pantry staple baking ingredients this recipe comes together in a flash.

Magic Bars 8 Layer bars on parchment paper

8 Layer Magic Bars

8 Layer Magic Bars is one level up from the traditional 7 layer Magic Bars. It consists of a buttery graham cracker crust topped with layers of chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, chopped nuts, crispy cereal and then finished off with a blanket of sweetened condensed milk. They are the perfect make-ahead dessert for your next party!

My Mom made these 8 layer magic bars for my family on special occasions growing up. We always knew when a holiday was coming we would get to indulge in these decadent bars. To this day she stills makes them as a sweet treat for family and friends!

Magic Bars 8 Layer bars on a blue plate

I’ve been eating and sharing these bars with family and friends for years when I say you NEED to try them, I really mean it! They are a great dessert to make with the kids too. Get them to help out with layering all the goodies into these bars.

They may look like a basic layered bar with a graham cracker crust but over the years my Mom has perfected the ultimate blend of melty chocolatey, flakey coconut, crispy puffed rice cereal all covered in gooey sweetened condensed milk. Ok now I’m drooling writing this and think I’ll go make myself another batch!

What is in 8 Layer Magic Bars?

ingredients to make 8 layer magic bars on a wood board

8 Layers of MAGIC

  • Crushed Graham Crackers and Butter – layers 1 and 2 of these bars is the crust. You can simply pour into a baking dish the crackers crumbs and layer the butter on top. Give it a quick mix and firmly compact into the pan to form the crust.
  • Chocolate Chips – any variety, milk, semi-sweet, dark, white, sugar free, you name it, works well in this recipe! The best part is you can just use the type you have on hand so you don’t need to run out and grab an ingredient.
  • Butterscotch Chips – my personal favorite part of the bars! They add a deep rich flavor that is irreplaceable. I know I just said above that you can use any chocolate chips, but I would definitely make sure to use butterscotch chips for the extra flavor.
  • Pecans – when it comes to baking, pecans are my favorite nut. They have a subtle yet delicious flavor but you can really use any nut you prefer in these bars.
  • Shredded Coconut (unsweetened) – ok hear me out, even if you do not like coconut you should gives these bars a try at least once with coconut! The flavor is amazing and it adds a little tropical twist to the bars.
  • Puffed Rice Cereal (Rice Krispies) – you may have heard of 7 layer magic bars, the 8th layer in these bars is the BEST part that I personally think is missing from 7 layer bars. The puffed rice cereal adds a light and airy crispy topping this these bars.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – the last layer is a drizzle of sweetened condensed milks. It’s what makes the bars ooey-gooey and keeps all the layers stuck together.

How to Make 8 Layer Magic Bars

Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page

making 8 layer magic bars

Check out my short video tutorial here

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper (using parchment paper makes it easier to slice because you can lift the whole thing out). Set aside.

2 Stir the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs together. Press into the bottom of the baking pan to form the crust by pressing with your fingers, the base of a flat-bottomed cup, or back of a spoon.

3 Evenly sprinkle remaining ingredients one by one over the crust to form layers in the order listed in the ingredients. Slowly and carefully, pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the entire top layer of crispy cereal.

4 Bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are golden brown and the middle is set.

5 Cool 1-2 hours. If using parchment paper, carefully lift the parchment paper out of the pan and slice the bars into 24 pieces, or slice directly in the pan.

Enjoy!

8 layer magic bars baked in a glass dish

Tips and Storage

  • Store in an airtight container with wax paper or parchment paper between layers. The flavor of the bars is even better the day after baking! Bars stored at room temperature will be fairly soft and are best eaten within 3 to 5 days. For firm and chewy bars, store in the fridge for up to a week.
  • Make sure the bars are completely cooled before slicing. With all the gooey layers the bars will crumble if cut warm
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – the one essential ingredient in the whole recipe is sweetened condensed milk. This sticky, gooey, honey-thick condensed milk is what binds all the ingredients together. It also caramelizes in the oven, giving a sweet depth to each bite similar to dulce de leche. Make sure you read the labels and buy sweetened condensed milk, not evaporated milk—the cans look very similar.

Flavor Variations

These are my favorite 8 layer bars but they are 100% customizable, use your and your families favorite sweet treats:

  • Use gingersnaps, chocolate wafers, Biscoff cookies or any other dry, crumbly cookie instead of the graham crackers
  • White chocolate chips
  • Peanut butter chips
  • Marshmallows
  • Dried fruit
  • Toffee bits
  • M&M candies or any other small candy
  • Add a drizzle of caramel over the top
  • The possibilities are ENDLESS
Magic Bars 8 Layer bars on parchment paper

Looking for More Easy Desserts

  • Banana Bread – one of my families favorite treats! With its super moist texture, rich banana flavor it is a must try. This recipe is so simple and only needs a few pantry staple ingredients.
  • Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars – may just be the perfect 5 ingredient dessert. Creamy cheesecake bars with a chocolate chip cookie dough crust with even more cookie pieces crumbled on top.
  • Maple Pecan Butter Tarts – one of the most well known and popular Canadian desserts. Not only are they so simple to make, they are incredibly delicious!

Enjoy!

– Sab

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission.

Magic Bars 8 Layer bars on parchment paper

Ultimate Eight Layer Magic Bars

Eight Layer Magic Bars is one level up from the traditional 7-layer Magic Bars. It consists of a buttery graham cracker crust topped with layers of chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, chopped nuts, crispy cereal and then finished off with a blanket of sweetened condensed milk. They are the perfect make-ahead dessert for your next party.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Chill/Rest 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 Bars
Calories 241 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 2 cups puffed rice cereal, preferably, Rice Krispies
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 300mL

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper (using parchment paper makes it easier to slice). Set aside.
  • Stir the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs together. Press into the bottom of the baking pan to form the crust by pressing with your fingers, the base of a flat-bottomed cup, or back of a spoon.
  • Evenly sprinkle remaining ingredients one by one over the crust to form layers in the order listed in the ingredients. Slowly and carefully, pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the entire top layer of crispy cereal.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are golden brown and the middle is set.
  • Cool 1-2 hours. If using parchment paper, carefully lift the parchment paper out of the pan and slice the bars into 24 pieces, or slice directly in the pan.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Store in an airtight container with wax paper or parchment paper between layers. The flavor of the bars is even better the day after baking! Bars stored at room temperature will be fairly soft and are best eaten within 3 to 5 days. For firm and chewy bars, store in the fridge for up to a week.
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NUTRITION

Calories: 241kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 3gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 139mgPotassium: 149mgFiber: 1gSugar: 21gVitamin A: 175IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 62mgIron: 1mg
This nutrition information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

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Recipe Rating




Ana

Wednesday 15th of September 2021

This were so amazing! Love your site and recipes. Can’t wait to try more.