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How to Make Hello Dolly Bars (7 Layer Bars)

Hello Dolly Bars, with sweetened condensed milk, is one of the best desserts out there.

The recipe features a buttery graham cracker crust, semi-sweet chocolate chips, coconut flakes, sweetened condensed milk, and more for an original recipe that is a sweet treat.

Hello Dolly Bars Have A Great Combination of Ingredients

Hello Dolly Bars are one of the best and most delicious desserts that are easy and fun to make. They are a great holiday Christmas treat to take to parties, and share with friends. The combination of chocolate, coconut, chopped pecans, graham crackers, and sweetened condensed milk is going to have everyone lining up to grab one.

The bars, also known as magic cookie bars, Hello Dollies recipe, Hello Dolly cookies, or 7 layer bars, are such a quick and easy recipe to make.

With the combination of pecans, chocolate chips, toasted coconut, and a graham cracker crust, you can’t go wrong.

The Hello Dolly bars recipe has been popular on Pinterest and Facebook. It’s also a traditional recipe that people have loved for years, partly because it’s so easy to make.

The Perfect Dessert Year Round

The dessert bars are a classic recipe for the holidays or any occasion and take less than 15 minutes to make and get into the oven. I share this often with friends and neighbors.

I absolutely love Hello Dolly Bars, and I could honestly just sit and lick the inside of the sweetened condensed milk can, but with the added chocolate chips, pecans, graham crackers, and shredded coconut…Hello! 

Must be why they call them Hello Dolly Bars

Watch How To Make Hello Dolly Bar Cookies

The 7-layer bars recipe can be made in several different ways and might depend on what your family tradition is for the ingredients.

  • For example, I left the butterscotch chips off of this recipe, but you can add those along with the chocolate chips for even more flavors.
  • Some people like to eat walnuts instead of pecans.
  • You can also add peanut butter chips or white chocolate chips to the mix if you’d like even more flavor additions.
  • The recipe falls under a few different names and uses simple ingredients but tastes wonderful in every way. They are good enough to serve every day or on special occasions.

How To Make Hello Dolly Bars

  1. Crush the graham crackers and mix with melted butter. Press the buttery graham cracker crumbs into the greased baking dish.
  2. Evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut on top.
  3. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
  4. Cool and serve.

The bars are great for holiday and Christmas parties, a yearly cookie exchange, gifts for teachers and friends, or just sitting around and eating them at home. I prefer the latter (wink, wink).

I have not always been a big coconut fan, but I like it these days. After you cook it, it’s toasted and oh-so-delicious. 

(On a side note, seven layer bars typically have butterscotch chips; however, I decided to leave them out of this recipe). 

Hello Dolly bars in tinfoil

I haven’t always known about magic bars or Hello Dolly Bars.

My friend brought some over a few years ago and shared it with us, and I couldn’t figure out how on earth I’d gotten through life without eating the famous recipe.

Needless to say, she became my new best friend. 

7 layer bars stacked on top of each other

Hello Dolly Bars with peanut butter chips

Full printable recipe with ingredients, measurements, and instructions at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.

What You Will Need For the Hello Dolly Bars

  • Oven
  • 9″ x 9″ Baking dish
  • Non-stick spray
  • Medium-sized bowl
  • Tinfoil
  • Microwave or stovetop to melt the butter
  • Saucepan or microwave-safe bowl to melt the butter
  • Graham crackers
  • Butter
  • Chocolate chips
  • Chopped pecans
  • Shredded coconut
  • Can of sweetened condensed milk

How To Make The Hello Dolly Bars Recipe

Hello Dolly Bars are one of the best and most delicious desserts that are easy and fun to make. They are a great holiday Christmas treat to take to parties, and share with friends. The combination of chocolate, coconut, chopped pecans, graham crackers, and sweetened condensed milk is going to have everyone lining up to grab one. Hello Dolly cookie recipe.

First, crush up a packet of graham crackers until they are fine crumbs.

It won’t hurt anything if there are a few chunks in there.

You can either crush full sheets of graham crackers in the Cuisinart food processor or use a Ziplock bag as I did. Using a rolling pin helped crush them faster. 

Usually, one sleeve from a graham cracker box is enough to make 2 cups for the crust. 

You can also purchase pre-crushed graham crackers for this recipe.

Hello Dolly Bars are one of the best and most delicious desserts that are easy and fun to make. They are a great holiday Christmas treat to take to parties, and share with friends. The combination of chocolate, coconut, chopped pecans, graham crackers, and sweetened condensed milk is going to have everyone lining up to grab one.

Next, melt butter and add it to a large mixing bowl.

Hello Dolly Bars are one of the best and most delicious desserts that are easy and fun to make. They are a great holiday Christmas treat to take to parties, and share with friends. The combination of chocolate, coconut, chopped pecans, graham crackers, and sweetened condensed milk is going to have everyone lining up to grab one.

Add the graham crackers to the melted butter and stir it in. 

Hello Dolly Bars are one of the best and most delicious desserts that are easy and fun to make. They are a great holiday Christmas treat to take to parties, and share with friends. The combination of chocolate, coconut, chopped pecans, graham crackers, and sweetened condensed milk is going to have everyone lining up to grab one.

Press the graham cracker and butter mixture into the bottom of the 9″ x 9″ casserole dish.

I put some tinfoil in the pan and sprayed it with a non-stick spray. Or, you can use parchment paper if that’s what you have one hand to add to the bottom of the pan.

It makes it easier to take the Hello Dolly Bars out of the pan when they cool, and it makes for an easy clean-up. 

Updated: You don’t have to use aluminum foil, but it makes it easier to get the bars out when you go to cut them.

Hello Dolly Bars are one of the best and most delicious desserts that are easy and fun to make. They are a great holiday Christmas treat to take to parties, and share with friends. The combination of chocolate, coconut, chopped pecans, graham crackers, and sweetened condensed milk is going to have everyone lining up to grab one.

Sprinkle the chocolate chips around the top. 

Hello Dolly Bars are one of the best and most delicious desserts that are easy and fun to make. They are a great holiday Christmas treat to take to parties, and share with friends. The combination of chocolate, coconut, chopped pecans, graham crackers, and sweetened condensed milk is going to have everyone lining up to grab one.

Next, sprinkle the pecans on top of the chocolate chips.

My friend Karen shared a great tip with me about switching out the nuts for pretzels.

If you’re allergic to pecans or nuts or just don’t like them, adding pretzels in their place helps add some salt back in so the sweetness isn’t overwhelming. Either way, your tastebuds will thank you.

She said it tasted amazing!

Hello Dolly Bars are one of the best and most delicious desserts that are easy and fun to make. They are a great holiday Christmas treat to take to parties, and share with friends. The combination of chocolate, coconut, chopped pecans, graham crackers, and sweetened condensed milk is going to have everyone lining up to grab one.

Add the coconut on top and spread it out evenly.

Hello Dolly Bars are one of the best and most delicious desserts that are easy and fun to make. They are a great holiday Christmas treat to take to parties, and share with friends. The combination of chocolate, coconut, chopped pecans, graham crackers, and sweetened condensed milk is going to have everyone lining up to grab one.

And now comes the best part. Pour the entire can of sweetened condensed milk over the top.

We will literally fight over licking the can in this house. It is so good. 

You can use generic sweetened condensed milk or Eagle Brand. Either one will work.

Hello Dolly Bars are one of the best and most delicious desserts that are easy and fun to make. They are a great holiday Christmas treat to take to parties, and share with friends. The combination of chocolate, coconut, chopped pecans, graham crackers, and sweetened condensed milk is going to have everyone lining up to grab one. Hello Dolly Bars Eagle Brand.

Bake the Hello Dolly Bars at 325 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until the coconut turns a golden brown around the edges.

Every oven is different, so sometimes they need to be baked a little longer to get golden brown.

Updated: I’ve had a few comments lately about the bars not setting up properly after baking. As they bake, you will want the edges to be a darker golden than the inside of the dessert.

Allow them to cool for at least an hour at room temperature. Then, place them in the refrigerator to cool and firm up before cutting. They are still going to be a little bit gooey but should cut easily.

And, Hello Dolly Bars!

These are the original Hello Dolly Bars, and I know you are going to love the finished product.

More Delicious Dessert Recipes

Hello Dolly Bars are one of the best and most delicious desserts that are easy and fun to make. They are a great holiday Christmas treat to take to parties, and share with friends. The combination of chocolate, coconut, chopped pecans, graham crackers, and sweetened condensed milk is going to have everyone lining up to grab one.

Alternate Or Additional Ingredients

Hello Dolly bars are very versatile. You can add other ingredients or leave some out.

  • Milk chocolate chips
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • White chocolate chips
  • Crushed vanilla wafers for an alternative crust
  • Dulce de leche condensed milk
  • Crushed chocolate graham squares for the crust
  • Crushed shortbread cookies for the crust
  • Toffee chips
  • Butterscotch chips

Exploring Nut Varieties in Hello Dolly Bars

When it comes to Hello Dolly Bars, nuts play a pivotal role in adding texture and depth of flavor. Each type of nut brings its unique taste and character to the bars, allowing for a customizable dessert experience. Here’s a short guide on various nuts you can use and the flavor profile they contribute:

1. Pecans: Traditionally used in Hello Dolly Bars, pecans offer a rich, buttery flavor with a slightly sweet finish. They complement the chocolate and coconut layers perfectly, providing a tender crunch that’s both satisfying and familiar.

2. Walnuts: For a more robust nutty essence, walnuts are an excellent choice. Their earthy and slightly bitter undertones balance the sweetness of the condensed milk and chocolate, adding complexity to each bite.

3. Almonds: Sliced or slivered almonds can lend a delicate crunch and a mellow nuttiness. They are less intense than walnuts but have a distinct flavor that pairs well with dark and milk chocolate chips.

4. Hazelnuts: If you’re after a gourmet twist, hazelnuts can be a luxurious addition. They have a pronounced sweet and woody flavor that, when toasted, intensifies, making your Hello Dolly Bars taste like a special treat from an artisanal bakery.

5. Cashews: Cashews are softer than other nuts and offer a buttery, almost creamy texture. Their subtle sweetness and light crunch add a surprising element without overpowering the other ingredients.

6. Macadamia Nuts: For a tropical vibe, macadamia nuts are the go-to. They’re creamy, rich, and have a distinctive flavor that elevates the bars into a decadent dessert category.

7. Pistachios: Pistachios are perfect to inject a hint of color and a gentle, sweet nuttiness. They’re less common in Hello Dolly Bars, which makes them an intriguing alternative for those looking to experiment.

8. Pine Nuts: Although unconventional, pine nuts could add a buttery, resinous flavor that’s sophisticated and subtle, complementing the sweetness with their mild, unique taste.

Each nut type offers a unique spin on the classic Hello Dolly Bars, whether you’re looking for a traditional taste or an adventurous twist. Feel free to mix and match or even combine different nuts to create a multi-textured and flavorful experience.

Do seven-layer bars freeze well?

Yes, they do freeze well. Be sure to wrap them up in Saran Wrap and a Ziplock bag to prevent freezer burn. Place in the fridge or set on the counter to thaw. 

Should seven-layer bars be refrigerated?

No, they do not have to be refrigerated. Hello Dolly Bars, seven-layer bars, or magic bars can stay on the counter for a few days. 

How long do magic bars keep?

Magic bars, Hello Dolly Bars, or seven layer bars will keep for three to five days on the counter and up to a week in the refrigerator.

Keep the bars in an airtight container with wax paper between the bars to keep them from sticking together. 

Tips And Tricks For Hello Dolly Bars

Baking Hello Dolly Bars is an easy task, but here are a few ideas to make things a little easier.

Use Parchment Paper

Line the pan with parchment paper and it makes it easier to lift the bars out to cut them after they’ve cooled.

Make Sure You Press The Graham Cracker And Butter Mixture Firmly Into The Pan

Make sure to press the graham cracker mixture firmly into the bottom of the dish. This will help the bars hold together and prevent them from crumbling. Sometimes I will use the bottom of a cup or something hard to press it down.

Don’t Over Bake The Bars

Be careful not to over bake the Hello Dolly Bars. They should be golden brown around the edges but still slightly gooey in the center.

Let The Bars Cool Completely

Let the bars cool completely before cutting them into squares. This will help them hold together and prevent them from falling apart.

Hello Dolly Bars are one of the best and most delicious desserts that are easy and fun to make. They are a great holiday Christmas treat to take to parties, and share with friends. The combination of chocolate, coconut, chopped pecans, graham crackers, and sweetened condensed milk is going to have everyone lining up to grab one. This is a great how to recipe to help you make delicious bars!

Can You Make Hello Dolly Bars Without Coconut?

Yes, you can skip the coconut in the bars. It will be a little bit of a different texture and flavor without coconut.

Hello Dolly Bars Recipe Card

Check out the Hello Dolly Bars recipe card below, grab those ingredients, and start baking this family favorite! You’ll love how easy this recipe is to make. 

Then, share your comments below and share a picture of your dessert on the Pinterest Pin! 

If you made any changes or added something different, be sure to share it with us. 

Hello Dolly Bars on a table with a rolling pin

How To Make Hello Dolly Bars

Yield: 9 bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Hello Dolly Bars, with sweetened condensed milk, are one of the best desserts out there. I love this recipe for Hello Dolly cookie bars (also known as Magic Bars), and people will be lining up to get one!
The bar consists of a graham cracker crust, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, pecans, and sweetened condensed milk.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups crushed graham crackers (usually one sleeve is enough)
  • 10 Tablespoon butter (melted)
  • 1 - 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325-degrees.
  2. Line a 9-inch x 9-inch baking dish with tin foil. Spray the tin foil with non stick spray.
  3. Crush the graham crackers in a bag and add the 2 cups to a bowl.
  4. Add the melted butter and mix well.
  5. Pour the graham crackers and butter mixture into the casserole dish and press down with your hand.
  6. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.
  7. Next, sprinkle the pecans on top.
  8. Finally, sprinkle the coconut on top.
  9. Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over all of the ingredients.
  10. Bake for 25-30* minutes, or until the edges are golden.
  11. Allow to cool for one hour before serving.

Notes

*Every oven is different, so sometimes they need to be baked a little longer to get golden brown.

Add one cup butterscotch chips to the chocolate chips layer, if desired.

Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the top of the baked bars and drizzle on some caramel sauce for a decadent dessert.

Nutritional Information is approximate.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 230Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 3g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Be sure to check out more delicious recipes over at Julia’s Simply Southern

Barbara

Monday 26th of February 2024

Made these with similar recipe that called for 9x13 pan which made bars too thin. I won't use semi-sweet morsels again. Too bitter. Going to try again.

.. .

Julie Pollitt

Monday 26th of February 2024

Hi Barbara,

I like to make these in a 9x9 pan so they are nice and thick. You can use milk chocolate, butterscotch, and/or peanut butter chips for this recipe.

Catie

Sunday 28th of January 2024

These were so, so good. We loved every bite of these bars!

Julie Pollitt

Sunday 28th of January 2024

So glad you all liked them!

Milli

Wednesday 24th of January 2024

I came across these easy dessert bars on pinterest and just had to try them. They are so irresistible and already gone. I can't wait to make them again.

Julie Pollitt

Wednesday 24th of January 2024

So great to hear!

Carie Parkes

Wednesday 20th of December 2023

I make these every year and the recipes always call for one can of condensed milk for a 9 x 13 pan. I can only imagine these will be richer and gooyer. Which Im all for!!! Making them now!!!

Julie Pollitt

Thursday 21st of December 2023

Hope you love them!

Jami Brandt

Wednesday 30th of August 2023

50 some years ago, I remember my mom making them often. Didn’t really think of them as an adult until I saw a recipe which jogged my mind. Now I make them often using your recipe. They are always loved!! I continually am surprised when people haven’t heard of them!

Julie Pollitt

Friday 1st of September 2023

Hi Jami,

I am so glad you found them again. They are such a fun treat. I know, I am surprised, too!

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