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These red velvet seven layer bars are everything we love about classic seven layer bars, but they’re baked on top of a red velvet cookie crust. These loaded bars are extra chewy, gooey, buttery, and sweet!

red velvet seven layer bars

Attention red velvet lovers! These red velvet seven layer bars recipe comes from my dear friend Deborah’s cookbook, Red Velvet Lover’s Cookbook. Deborah blogs at Taste and Tell and wrote this cookbook for anyone madly in love with red velvet’s flavor. Yes, it’s a book of all things red velvet! I knew sharing a recipe from this cookbook would be a hit considering how much we all love red velvet cake and red velvet cupcakes.

These red velvet seven layer bars remind me of classic magic bars (also known as seven layer bars) but incorporate red velvet. The base is a soft, cookie-like red velvet layer. On top of that? A rich, sweet, chewy, gooey, and completely overloaded smorgasbord of toppings. Go big or go home.

These Red Velvet Seven Layer Bars Are:

  • Totally rich and indulgent
  • Perfect for red velvet lovers
  • Chewy and gooey
  • Coconut-y
  • Easy to make
  • Always a hit with a crowd
  • Piled high with chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans
  • A texture lover’s dream

2 images of Red Velvet Lovers Cookbook by Deborah Harroun

Ingredients You Need

You’ll appreciate that this recipe doesn’t call for any crazy ingredients. You need basic pantry staples.

  • Flour: All-purpose flour serves as the base of these bars.
  • Cocoa Powder: Cocoa powder helps add that cocoa red velvet flavor.
  • Baking Powder: Baking powder helps the bars rise.
  • Vanilla Extract & Salt: Both add flavor. Try using homemade vanilla extract.
  • Sugar: To sweeten the base.
  • Red Food Coloring: Tints the base cookie layer red for the classic red velvet appearance.
  • Egg: 1 egg binds everything together.
  • Chocolate Chips, White Chocolate Chips, Coconut, & Pecans: Delicious toppings for these bars.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: When poured on top, sweetened condensed milk is the “glue” that holds the topping together. It bakes and coats the toppings so each bite is chewy ooey gooey!

A note about food coloring: The red velvet cookie layer wouldn’t be red without food coloring. I recommend gel food coloring because the color is concentrated, so you need less of it. For natural coloring, try using beet powder. If you don’t want to use food coloring, leave it out! The bars will have the same flavor and be a lovely shade of cocoa.

red velvet seven layer bar on a white plate with a fork

How to Make Red Velvet Seven Layer Bars

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together.
  2. Cream the wet ingredients together. (Butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla.)
  3. Add the red food coloring.
  4. Spread the dough into a prepared pan. The dough for this layer is incredibly sticky and thick, so take your time spreading it out into the pan.
  5. Pre-bake the cookie layer. Bake the red velvet cookie bar base for 8 minutes.
  6. Add the toppings to the cookie bar base. Sprinkle coconut evenly over the bars, followed by chocolate chips and white chocolate chips. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top. Add pecans.
  7. Bake. Bake the seven layer bars until set.
  8. Cool, then slice into squares.

What size pan to use? Deborah’s recipe directs to bake the bars in a 9×13 pan, but mine was dirty (washing dishes in the middle of making seven layer bars? no.) so I just used an 11×7 inch pan instead. Using a smaller pan made my bars a little thicker than Deborah’s. I include both bake times in the recipe below.

2 images of red velvet seven layer bars

Which Part is Your Favorite?

With so many flavors and textures to love, it’s hard to pick a favorite! If I *had* to choose, I think mine would be the melty chocolate paired with chewy, sweet coconut.

Deborah describes these bars as addictive– and she totally nails it with that description. As a huge fan of regular seven layer bars (and these ultimate magic cookie bars), I couldn’t stop slicing off little squares for myself. Dare I say this version of the classic dessert might be better than the original? Seriously.

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red velvet seven layer bars

Red Velvet Seven Layer Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 24-30 bars 1x
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


There are 7 layers to love in these chewy, gooey, sweet red velvet bars.


  • 1 and 1/4 cups (156g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 Tablespoon (5g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) liquid red food coloring
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (120g) sweetened shredded coconut*
  • 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips*
  • 1/2 cup (90g) white chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup (130g) chopped pecans


  1. Set your oven rack to the center position and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking pan* with aluminum foil (or use parchment), leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in egg and vanilla on high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in the food coloring until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. The red velvet dough will be quite thick and sticky.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, spread dough in an even layer into the prepared baking pan. It’s very sticky, so take your time pushing it to each corner of the pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave the oven on.
  5. Sprinkle the coconut over the cookie layer, followed by the chocolate chips, then the white chocolate chips. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top. Sprinkle with pecans. Bake until set, about 25 minutes.* Cool on a rack for at least 2 hours before cutting into squares.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bars can be frozen, up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Coconut: Different brands of coconut weigh different amounts; anywhere around 120g is fine.
  3. Chocolate Chips: Deborah’s recipe calls for 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips and 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. I only had semi-sweet on hand, so I used 1 full cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. My bars are actually only 6 layers! Feel free to make them with milk chocolate as well, just as the original recipe directs.
  4. Baking Pan: I used an 11×7 inch baking pan. My bars took 32 minutes using this size pan.
  5. Recipe from Red Velvet Lover’s Cookbook.

Keywords: red velvet seven layer bars

red velvet seven layer bars

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Can I use dutched cocoa powder for this recipe? I noticed it calls for baking powder, so I thought maybe, but thought I should ask for sure!

  2. These are super! I didn’t even use the full measure of red food coloring and they still looked pretty. I liked the bottom layer to balance out the top. People, you have to make this for the holidays – or just because!! Thank you, Sally.

  3. Hi Sally! 
    I’m just wondering if it would be possible to bake this in a 9×9 pan?
    Thank you for all the amazing baking you do!

    1. Lizzy, you would have to halve the recipe. I suggest just making the bars as is in a 9×13.

  4. Hi Sally,

    These look amazing! Is it possible to leave out the food coloring and just have the bottom layer not be red velvet?


  5. Made these for Thanksgiving. Everyone enjoyed them. Didn’t take long to put them together. Thanks for a great recipe.

  6. Sorry but this recipe was kind of awful. The red velvet was too hard to spread which was super frustraing, and it ripped my aluminm foil layer and then other stuff got in under the foil and made a mess. When cut into square-ish pieces after cooling for 2+ hours, the yield was about 2/3 of the pan. The rest of it was too messy to cut into squares. It looks Christmas-y but I think I’d rather stick to regular 7 layer bars.

  7. Hi Sally, You are the “Cookie Queen” & I’d like to make everyone of your recipes! ! I have been making the 7 layer cookies for about 40 years for my 3 boys (& now their families), but I’d love to surprise them with the red velvet version. Do you think I could use the red velvet box cake mix for the bottom? I am a little handicapped now, but try hard to keep myself busy in the kitchen. Thanks bunches, Judy

    1. Hi Judy! Thank you for the extremely kind comment 🙂 And yes, you can use a box mix for the bottom layer 🙂

    1. I haven’t tried a beet powder substitute in these bars, but let me know if you do!

  8. HI, I made these yesterday and really enjoyed them, and my husband loved them!! I made them in the larger 9×13 and wish I could of done the 7×11 pan. My red velvet was differently more cookie than cakey, very crunchy. But I think I baked it a bit too long. I fought trying to get the red velvet dough in the pan evenly and I ended using parchment paper. I drew out the size of my pan and then placed my dough on the paper, next put another piece of parchment paper (sprayed with a bit of PAM) on top and used a rolling pin to roll it out. And surprise it worked! I’m new to baking so I’m enjoying the challenges that come with baking. I love your site.

  9. There are only 6 layers!!! I’m kind of disappointed but it did taste very good!!