Classic Magic Cookie Bars

Magic cookie bars
Claire Cohen
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
251 Calories
15g Fat
29g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 251
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 20%
Saturated Fat 8g 39%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 98mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 10%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 23g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 77mg 6%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 181mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Magic cookie bars have long been one of our family's favorite treats, and I make them at least once every holiday season.

The cookies are made with butter, graham cracker crumbs, and layers of chocolate chips, pecans, coconut, and sweetened condensed milk. Take a pan of these fabulous cookies along to a potluck or office party.

You can easily vary this recipe. Add 1 cup of butterscotch chips or toffee chips to the chocolate chip layer, replace the pecans with walnuts, or add colorful sprinkles to the top for a special occasion.

I like a thicker base layer, so I make these with 1 1/2 sticks of butter (12 tablespoons) and 2 1/4 cups of graham cracker crumbs.


  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips, about 2 cups

  • 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut

  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Classic magic cookie bars recipe
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  3. Melt the butter in a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan.

    Melt butter in pan
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva
  4. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs evenly over melted butter; pat the crumbs down to form the crust.

    Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs evenly
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva
  5. Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crumb crust.

    Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk on
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva
  6. Top the condensed milk layer evenly with the chocolate chips, coconut, and chopped pecans; press down firmly.

    Top with chocolate chips
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva
  8. Cool the bars completely before cutting.

    Cool the bars
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva
  9. Slice, serve, and enjoy.

    Slice and serve
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva

Recipe Variations

  • Add colorful sprinkles for special occasions: pastel for Easter, red and green for Christmas, red, white, and blue for the Fourth, autumn colors for Thanksgiving, and orange and black for Halloween. 
  • Add color to the coconut on the bars. Put about half of the coconut in a zip-close bag. Drop two drops of liquid food coloring on the coconut. Add the remaining coconut and another 2 drops. Press the air out of the bag and seal it. Mix until the color is evenly blended. Adjust the amount of food coloring for more vivid color. 
  • Use 1 cup of butterscotch chips and 1 cup of semisweet or milk chocolate chips.
  • Make them with part or all peanut butter chips or white chocolate chips.
  • Add 1/2 cup of brickle chips along with the chocolate chips.
  • Not a fan of nuts? Leave them out or replace them with more chocolate chips or some toffee or brickle chips.