Seven Layer Bars {Lightened-Up!}

by Amy on 15 January 2014

Seven Layer Bars (Lightened-Up!)I’ve been on a big dessert bar kick recently. While I love cookies, cakes, + pies, some of them require more hands-on time than I have these days, what with a silly, wiggly 7-month-old baby to look after! When it comes time to make sweets for a group, I’ve been turning to dessert bar recipes that are both super delicious AND quick + simple to make. So, when I had a food blogger potluck party to attend recently, I decided to make these easy Lightened-Up Seven Layer Bars.

And y’all, they turned out so wonderfully. I love how incredibly simple they are to make, + the resulting bars are amazing – sweet, sticky, buttery + chocolatey, with a fantastic burst of coconut. And the best thing? This is a slightly lightened-up recipe, so enjoying one won’t break your New Year’s resolution to eat well. One bar has about 120 calories and 4 grams of fat – not too shabby! Since they are both very sweet and very rich, one bar was definitely enough to satisfy my dessert craving. =) A scrumptious dessert recipe that’s super easy to make AND helps you to stay within your dietary goals for the day? That’s a winner in my book! I’m already planning to make these again for the Super Bowl – hope lots of you try ’em, too!

Seven Layer Bars (Lightened-Up!)

Seven Layer Bars

makes 25 bars, adapted from Cooking Light


1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 9 cookie sheets)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup butterscotch morsels
2/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk


Preheat oven to 350°.

Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. (Note: don’t skip this step! These bars are wonderfully sticky + the parchment makes them so much easier to get out of the pan.)

Place graham cracker crumbs in a medium bowl. Drizzle with butter and 1 tablespoon water; toss with a fork until moist. Gently pat mixture into an even layer in pan – do not press firmly. (Note: Because the condensed milk you’ll add later will need to seep into the graham cracker crumbs, don’t pack the crumbs too tightly in the bottom of the pan.)

Sprinkle chocolate chips and butterscotch morsels over crumb mixture. Top evenly with coconut and pecans. Drizzle condensed milk evenly over top.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly around edges. Cool completely on wire rack, then cut into 25 squares.

print this recipe print this recipe
EmailTwitterFacebookStumbleUponGoogle BookmarksShare

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Leah | So, How's It Taste? January 15, 2014 at 9:06 am

Love 7-layer bars! They are so easy and so incredibly yummy with all that coconut!

2 danielle January 15, 2014 at 9:07 am

I saw this on the Chew only it was not a lightened up version at all. I would choose your recipe instead it looks great!

3 amy January 15, 2014 at 9:44 am

Hooray that you’d choose these over “The Chew” version! =)

4 Monet January 15, 2014 at 11:36 am

Hi sweet Amy! Love this lightened up version of everyone’s favorite layer bar. These look great! Thank you for sharing them with me!

5 Kelly January 15, 2014 at 8:33 pm

These bars look incredible Amy! Love how easy they are to put together and they sound amazing especially since they are lightened up too :)

6 Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry January 15, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Honestly, i never eat seven layer bars because of the fact they are so rich but I’ll have to give these lightened up one’s a try.

7 amy January 15, 2014 at 10:13 pm

They still taste pretty rich and sweet, Nicole, even though they’re lightened up – you’ll have to let me know what you think!

8 Jess January 16, 2014 at 4:43 am

Mmmmm these are one of my favorite cookie bars! Have you ever heard anyone call them Hello Dollies? (or is that something different?)

9 amy January 16, 2014 at 5:19 am

Yes, Jess! In the original recipe, they were actually called Hello Dolly Bars! I had never heard that name before, which is why I “renamed” them back to Seven Layer bars. =)

10 Anna (Hidden Ponies) January 16, 2014 at 6:36 am

I can’t believe how lightened up these are, and they still look amazing and totally satisfying! Bars are my favourite quick dessert too, such quick gratification :)

11 Jess January 16, 2014 at 9:58 am

Yum, these both look and sound amazing! :) Great recipe!

12 Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie January 16, 2014 at 11:46 am

What a great idea to lighten these bars up! They are highly addicting so I’d feel less guilty about all the bars I ate haha.

13 Shannon @ Bake.Frost.Repeat January 16, 2014 at 2:11 pm

These bars look incredible and they are lightened up?! Can’t wait to try!!

14 sarah k @ the pajama chef January 16, 2014 at 4:05 pm

oh man, these look yummy! pinned to try later. wish i would have been able to come to the food blogger potluck (at least, if it’s the one i am thinking of locally). maybe next time!

15 amy January 17, 2014 at 8:55 am

Yes, it was the food blogger potluck. So sorry you didn’t make it out, but hopefully I’ll see you at one of the events soon!

16 Rachel Cooks January 19, 2014 at 7:00 am

Love that you lightened these up! They look phenomenal!

17 Amy (Savory Moments) January 19, 2014 at 7:06 am

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of or tried Seven Layer Bars before, but now i want to — these look really delicious – so sticky and yummy!

18 Beth January 19, 2014 at 12:37 pm

These sound relatively healthy – as long as I could hold myself to just one!

19 Tamara Coleman January 19, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Seven layers of HEAVEN! I haven’t met a seven layer bar that I didn’t want to devour! YUM!

20 wendy (the weekend gourmet) January 19, 2014 at 11:14 pm

one of my childhood favorites…haven’t had them in ages, but you’re making want to whip up a pan of them for our Super Bowl feast!!

21 Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction January 20, 2014 at 8:07 am

Love that you made seven layer bars lighter! Can’t wait to try these!

22 Gintare @Gourmantine January 20, 2014 at 11:59 am

Sounds like a great snack (or breakfast) recipe to have on the go!

23 Emily @ Life on Food January 20, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Seven layer bars always hit the spot. A little something for everyone. Love the lightened up version.

24 Joyti January 21, 2014 at 2:03 am

Those look delicious. I’ve never HAD a seven-layer bar, but I’ve been wanting to make jam-oatmeal bars. The seven-layer bars sound EVEN BETTER. Yum!!!

25 easyfoodsmith January 21, 2014 at 2:34 am

Just like Joyti I have never had seven layer bar either. I love the sound of it and of course it looks decadent.
btw, your daughter looks adorable 😀

26 Smitten Foodie January 25, 2014 at 10:29 am

These sound amazing! Love all that you have packed in there, perfect =)

27 ErinsFoodFiles January 26, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Aw man, these look great! Too bad I had to miss the potluck!

28 maria at inredningsvis February 9, 2014 at 1:48 pm

AHHHH this recipy is TO Delish to handle :) love your blog and im following now.

Check out my blog today…my all time fav. lasagna recipy :)

Have a fab week dear

LOVE Maria at inredningsvis – inredning it’s, Swedish for decor :)

leave a comment

Previous post:

Next post: