Apple Butterscotch Magic Bars

If you like 7 Layer Bars, aka Magic Bars or Hello Dolly Bars – you will flip for this apple and butterscotch version!

stack of 3 apple butterscotch 7 layer bars

Seven Layer Bars, Magic Bars, Hello Dolly Bars.

Whatever you call them… layering butterscotch, chocolate, coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and nuts atop a buttery graham cracker crust will take you far in life. I recently learned that they are called Seven Layer Bars if all of the seven layers are present. Take something away and you’ve got yourself a Magic Bar. And Hello Dollies were the original name of the layered dessert. 😉

But today, I’m adding a layer or two. Tart, juicy apples and sweetly spiced ground cinnamon. Today’s dollies are all dressed up for the fall!

stack of apple butterscotch magic bars on a metal spatula

The recipe could not be any easier. No mixing equipment or multiple bowls are needed – just a bowl or two and a simple hand tossed layering technique to put it all together.

I made a small batch in an 8×8 baking pan – the recipe can easily be doubled if you’re making them for a big family, get together, or party. Or if you are extra hungry! With no where to go but my tummy, a small batch of these not-so-diet-friendly bars was plenty.

Start by making your bottom layer. Simply grind up some graham crackers and mix with melted butter – you could always use boxed graham cracker crumbs but I was feeling extra Sally-Homemaker today so I ground the crackers up myself. This will be your crust for all the good stuff!

Traditional Seven Layer Bars have equal parts chocolate and butterscotch chips. I scaled back on the chocolate chips because I didn’t want the chocolate to overpower the apples or cinnamon. You could easily leave the out the chocolate altogether but… let’s not be silly.

Next comes the butterscotch. I doubled up on the butterscotch because I am a complete butterscotch fool.

You are too? Good. You’re going to LOVE these bars!

butterscotch chips in a measuring cup

Top the chocolate & butterscotch with shredded coconut, diced apples, cinnamon, and crunchy walnuts. I use Granny Smith apples because of their tart flavor – a perfect balance for all the sugar in the other layers. Honey Crisp apples would be a wonderful variety to use as well.

Binding all of this glory together, the final and most crucial layer is the sweetened condensed milk. You’ll want to completely drench the layers with a nice pour of the good stuff.

As the bars are baking, the juices from the apples and the moisture from the sweetened condensed milk seep down into each layer, completely infusing each corner  of the pan with a sticky sweet goo. Each bite is completely rich and decadent.

The bars take about 35 minutes in the oven and will need to cool completely before you cut into them or else you’ll left with a crumbly sticky mess all over your counter. Since I have the patience of a 3 year old, I chilled the bars in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before slicing into squares.

stack of apple butterscotch 7 layer bars on a white plate

Get your tall glass of milk ready. The flavor and texture contrast of each layer will make your head spin. Crunchy, creamy, buttery, juicy, and chewy – you’ve got it all. Each bite is something different, which is just what the doctor ordered for those of us with texture A.D.D.

I mean, I’m practically drooling as I type this. (!!!)

The chocolate & butterscotch chips hold their shape, the walnuts & coconut obtain a toasty flavor, and the apples & cinnamon give this traditional dessert an unexpected festive flair.

apple butterscotch 7 layer bars

Having made this dessert twice in two weeks, let’s just say I’ve found my new favorite way to serve up some apples!

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stack of 3 apple butterscotch 7 layer bars

Apple Butterscotch 7 Layer Magic Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 12 bars
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


If you like 7 Layer Bars, aka Magic Bars or Hello Dolly Bars – you will flip for this apple and butterscotch version!


  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 6 full graham crackers ground up)
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup peeled apples, diced (1 small apple)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (or any nut)
  • 8 oz sweetened condensed milk (a little more than half of a standard 14 oz can)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Spray generously with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. Stir together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Mixture will be relatively crumbly. Press onto the bottom of the prepared dish and slightly up the sides. Layer chocolate chips and next 5 ingredients (in that order) into prepared baking pan. Drizzle with sweetened condensed milk.
  3. Bake for 35-38 minutes or until center is set. Allow to cool completely and lift the bars out of the pan using the ends of the parchment. Cut into 12 squares. Bars stay fresh at room temperature for 1 week.

Keywords: apple butterscotch 7 layer magic bars, apple butterscotch bars


Comments are closed.

  1. Blog is the New Black says:

    Every recipe you post makes me drool. 😉

  2. 1 please! Awesome idea to make this fall version of 7-layer bars – I think I’d like these even more than the original.

    1. I favor them over the regular too, Jess!

  3. Aimee @ ShugarySweets says:

    I love these! I also love that you ground up your own grahams. I think the Pre-Ground crumbs have a horrible aftertaste…just sayin 🙂 THis looks awesome!!!

    1. Aimee, I agree! It’s so much cheaper to grind up your own grahams too. You get twice as much from a box of graham craker sheets than you do with a box of pre-ground crumbs!

  4. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life says:

    Now that is a magic bar!!! I adore butterscotch too and when paired with juicy bits of apple…oh, I am drooling! This is an incredible twist to the traditional bar.

    1. i feel like butterscotch and apple is an underrated pair – i love the two together and i’m glad you agree Joce!

  5. Oh my gosh, these look incredible! Gorgeous pictures. 🙂 I know you said it would be silly to leave out the chocolate…so I guess I’m silly! I don’t really like chocolate with apples for some reason, but maybe if I did white chocolate instead…or just did all butterscotch (I’m a butterscotch fool too!). Thanks so much for this! I hope life is getting back to normal for you after the hurricane!

    1. I plan to use white chocolate in my next batch, Caley! Everything is all and well over here post-Sandy. My parents were resotred power 5 days after the storm hit. Luckily I didn’t lose power and everything is all good. Thank you Caley!

  6. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie says:

    They are like Hello Fall Dolly’s!

  7. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel says:

    Sally, I hope you don’t mind that my love for you is like, exponential. Forrealsies. Why are we not real-life BFFs? These bars couldn’t be more perfect. The apples–the EXTRA butterscotch–the freshly crushed graham cracker crumbs… so thoughtful and so brilliant! I love it!

  8. Pumpkin magic bars! They’re calling my name. Must try including pumpkin next!!

    1. that is TOO CRAZY Liz!! What are the odds? I need to make them.

  9. What a great fall makeover for seven layer bars! Love these!

  10. Rachael {SimplyFreshCooking} says:

    Yes, I’ll take two (or four) with a huge glass of milk (with ice cubes in it, cuz that’s how I roll). YUM! 🙂

    1. ice cubes in milk! that’s how I like it too, Rachael! Except I drink almond milk. You’ll need a TALL glass of it with even one of these rich bars!

  11. Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef says:

    i love this concept…. and i’ve never heard of apples in magic bars, but i love the idea 🙂

    1. A strange concept I thought at first.. but they turned out wonderfully. Thanks Sarah!

  12. Dang girl! These look incredible!!!

  13. Ari @ Ari's Menu says:

    These look like heaven! So.Much.Drool. I should only read your blog with a big pile of napkins near by. Totally classy 😉

    1. i loved your post so much today Ari that I almost cried!! I needed a napkin for my tears – you need a napkin for your drool. Yep, we’re super classy sitting at our comps.

  14. Averie @ Averie Cooks says:

    Seven Layer Bars, Magic Bars, Hello Dolly Bars…love them! I grew up calling them Seven Layer Bars and seriously they one of my fave bars! One of my most fave recipes on my whole site is a play on them – with a cake base layer and then doctored up. I love that you used apples. B/c butterscotch chips (a true love of mine!) + apples are perfect together 🙂

    1. grew up calling them 7 layer bars too Averie! butterscotch is a true love of mine, which is why I always dashed home from school when my mom told me these were for snack. 🙂 I have another butterscotch recipe coming up on Friday!

  15. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicius says:

    Magic bars – I can’t think of a better name! They really do look heavenly! I could eat maybe 5 of these. Okay, let’s be honest – I could eat the entire pan 🙂

    1. I’ve made these twice in two weeks, Chung-Ah. Let’s just say I’ve had to go to the gym a bit more often recently lol.

  16. Kristy (Sweet Treats & More) says:

    Apple and butterscotch?!? Sounds perfect together!!

  17. amy @ fearless homemaker says:

    Ooh, these sound sooo good. I can definitely see why they’re called “magic bars” – they surely look magical!

  18. Cassie | Bake Your Day says:

    These are gorgeous, Sally! I love all of the different layers.

  19. Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl says:

    I have to tell you–I usually prefer butterscotch over chocolate, so I’m giddy that you doubled up on the butterscotch on these. And with apples? Eeek, Sally, what a great flavor combination. I’m loving it! These look amazing!

    1. Hi Ashley! I agree, I love butterscotch and apples together – next time I’m thinking caramel and apples in a magic bar!

  20. Jennie @themessybakerblog says:

    Sally, these look magical. The gooey bars have my mouth watering. Pinned!

    1. Jennie! Thank you for the pin. 🙂

  21. Julie @ Table for Two says:

    i love the layers upon layers of this magic bar – definitely nothing short of magical there!! butterscotch and apples seem like a wonderful combination – kind of reminds me of a caramel apple rendition. it would totally work!!

  22. Holy Wow!! I think you may be a genius 🙂 Can’t wait to try them. Andd the texture A.D.D. thing made me smile!!!

    1. Hi Lara!! It’s true – I have major dessert and texture ADD haha!

  23. Jen @ Savory Simple says:

    Magic indeed!

  24. I had to bake them TWICE because I ate the first batch too quickly haha! I love magic cookie bars way too much – with our without apple! 🙂

    1. good to know! i didn’t freeze mine, so thank you for the report back!!

  25. Thanks Laura – that means a lot! 🙂

  26. Nicole @ Lapetitebaker says:

    You are brilliant! I am a huge fan of butterscotch so i think i will love these times a million.

  27. I make a version of the Peanut Butter Cup Crunch Brownies that uses a package of mini-marshmallows (baked about 3 mins in the oven after the brownies are done) for the middle and then the same Rice-Krispie, chocolate-chip topping –it’s one of my absolute faves.

    I can’t wait to try this version, looks and sounds fabulous!!!!

    1. Hi Val!! I am obsessed with your version! In fact, I may have to make them ASAP. How creative – like a s’more crunch brownie of sorts. THANK YOU for writing and letting me know about your version!

      1. I use a 16 oz bag of mini-marsh, bake about 3 mins after the brownies have baked, then let all of it cool really well before I put on the choco-chip, PB, Rice-Krispie topping –Heaven!
        Let me know how you like it!

      2. I am SO making them Val – you are amazing, thank you!!!

  28. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says:

    I love magic – 7 layer – hello dollie bars. So confusing in name, so wonderful in bite. And apples? You’re awesome. (I’m a butterscotch fool too…)

  29. Erin @ Texanerin Baking says:

    This is the first time I’ve looked at a seven layer bar recipe (I’d always assumed that they were too difficult to make) and this looks way easier than thought! And I agree with the white chocolate idea. Yes! And I would have left out the chocolate and used all butterscotch because I don’t want anything messing with my butterscotch. So maybe I would have left everything out and just eaten the chips. Which is actually what I do with my butterscotch ration. But one day when I don’t have to hoard the stuff I’ll be able to bake with it! Yay.

    1. difficult to make?? not at all Erin! 7 layer bars are the epitome of simple. Literally… you just layer things on top of another and drown in sweetened condensed milk! SO easy! I’m glad you love butterscotch as much as I do – you have to ration it?? Ahh! I couldn’t LIVE!

  30. I made these recently with gluten free graham crumbs! Soooo delicious. My gluten free friend was so happy that she could eat them!

    1. That’s great to hear!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally