Chocolate 7-Layer Bars

It became very clear to me recently that the world would not be complete until there was a chocolate version of the ubiquitous 7-layer bars. And not just a chocolate version but a death by chocolate version, of course. Because when it comes to chocolate, my theory is: go big or go home.

It probably goes without saying that these bars are rich. I mean, it is basically 7-layers of decadence after all. Because it bothers me a teeny little bit (ok, a lot) when I spy recipes for 7-layer bars that are only 5- or 6-layers, I triple checked and quadruple tested these bars to make sure that, indeed, 7-layers made the cut.

Chocolate 7-Layer Bars

We’ve got:
Buttery, sweet chocolate cookie crumbs
Chocolate chips
Nutty toffee bits
White chocolate chips
Shredded coconut
Creamy Nutella
Sweetened condensed milk

It’s like one big pan of gooey, decadent chocolate bliss. You really can’t beat the 7-layer bar for its complete simplicity: pressing down a cookie crust and then throwing everything else on top. In fact, these are so easy, I’m delegating Wednesday’s afternoon treat (it’s a thing) to my 8- and 9-year old. I just bought some enormous oven mitts that have given them a renewed confidence in getting things in and out of a hot oven which means they can do these start to finish without me. What will I even do with myself?

Chocolate 7-Layer Bars

One Year Ago: Chocolate Tres Leches Cake
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Nutella {2-Minute} Mug Cake
Three Years Ago: Berrymisu Trifle

Death by Chocolate 7-Layer Bars

Yield: Makes a 9X13-inch pan of bars

Death by Chocolate 7-Layer Bars

For the chocolate crumbs, I've used everything from chocolate Teddy Grahams to chocolate graham crackers to those thin, chocolate wafers; basically any crisp, chocolate cracker will work.


  • 2 1/4 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (about a 10 ounce package of chocolate cookies or wafers)
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Layers:
  • 1 cup milk, semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9X13-inch aluminum or glass pan with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl, toss together the cookie crumbs, butter and vanilla until the mixture is combined. Press it evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan (the bottom of a dry measuring cup can really help get the crumbs into an even layer).
  3. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the crust followed by the toffee bits, white chocolate chips and coconut.
  4. Spoon teaspoonfuls of the Nutella in little dollops over the bars (if you want more of a drizzle, warm the Nutella slightly in the microwave).
  5. Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk back and forth evenly over the bars.
  6. Bake the bars for 25-30 minutes until the edges are golden.
  7. Let the bars cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares. These are amazing at room temperature or chilled.

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

34 Responses to Death by Chocolate 7-Layer Bars

  1. Cindy says:

    Hi! Concerning Haifa’s question, I’m wondering if she was looking at the line in the recipe where it says, “1 Cup milk, semisweet, or bittersweet chocolate chips”??
    Also, I have a question…… Try not to laugh now, but can you use the fat free sweetened Condensed Milk?

  2. haifa says:

    Hi , I would like to give it a try but I notice there is 1 cup of milk in the ingredients that is not mentioned in the direction, so do we use it or not ?

    • Mel says:

      Hmmm… the only milk in the recipe is the sweetened condensed milk and the directions for the sweetened condensed milk are in step #5. Good luck!

  3. Abb Perkins says:

    These are in the oven right now! They look SO decadent! I’m sure my family will inhale these little beauties!

  4. Hilary says:

    These were superb!! Even my nine year old, who doesn’t like chocolate (I think she was switched at birth) or coconut… inhaled them!!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    These are absolutely fabulous!

  6. Rob Long says:

    All I have to say is:

    O. M. G.

  7. Allyson says:

    Me again (that hates lining pans with foil) … Thanks for the reply. Makes sense about baked-on caramel. I may give it a try just buttered … for that’s what I have teenagers for, right? To scrub the pan after they eat most of the treat?!

  8. Lauren says:

    Thanks for this Mel! I look forward to making it. Thankfully though, I don’t have the ingredients in the house currently!! Otherwise I’d be making these bars now and immediately would be eating the whole batch! Seeing as it is still first thing in the morning though not sure I could claim I had a well balanced breakfast!

  9. Perfection in a bar! Chocolate is the way to go. Love it!

  10. HOLY MOLY! Yes! This is amazing.

  11. I gained a pound just reading the recipe! But I am used to that, so I pay it no mind. I just make it, eat a piece and give the rest away. That way I spread the pounds around—an equal share giver. Laughing. I loved your line about chocolate—go big or go home. I think I might have to steal that. It reminds me of an excuse my friend made in regard to eating a cookie. She said, It’s smaller than a Pizza. Made perfect sense to me.

  12. These are to. die. for!! The chocolate… *swooning*

  13. Holly says:

    WOW! I am heading to the store after supper to get something to smash into chocolate crumbs because I absolutely must make these TONIGHT!

  14. YDavis says:

    I think I may have just drool all over my desk! I’ve got to try this recipe! Thank you for sharing.

  15. Lisa says:

    We use the Reese’s peanut butter chips. Our absolute most favorite treat.

  16. Allyson says:

    Is it really important to line the pan with foil? Do you think it would stick too badly if I just buttered the glass pan first and proceeded? I am not a fan of lining pans with foil … just a nuisance to me. 🙂 In addition, I’ve gotten away from any spray-oils, so buttering foil is not my favorite.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Allyson – I’m the opposite of you, I’d much rather mess with foil than scrub out a pan with crusted on caramel. 🙂 However, you could try not using foil. Just grease (or butter) the heck out of the pan and you’ll probably be good!

    • Annie says:

      I use parchment paper to line all pans. Put a tiny bit of butter in the pan, just to secure your parchment while you add ingredients. After you can lift whatever you bake right out for slicing, icing etc., and parchment paper is compostable. Not to be confused with wax paper, I can find parchment at any decent grocery store.

  17. Sheree L says:

    Can I just say that even if I didn’t cook one thing from your blog, I would come here just to read your words! You have a way of making me smile (and often, of making me laugh out loud). But, I do use your recipes often and love them. I think I’ll make these bars for our book club next week. Tonight for my hubby’s birthday dinner I’m making a couple of his favorites: Quick & Delicious Asian Noodles and Fresh Green Bean Salad with Balsamic Dressing. I’m so grateful to you for all you do – thank you!

  18. With all of those delicious 7 layers, I don’t know how anyone could not like this! Sounds amazing!

  19. 7 layers of decadence! Every layer is delicious on its own, together they make yumminess.

  20. Cammee says:

    Can I substitute something for the chocolate? Haha, kidding!

  21. Susan says:

    Wow!!! These look great! And delicious!!

  22. When I saw the email for this recipe I said a little prayer that there was Nutella in it…you did NOT disappoint!! Holy yum these look amazing!!

  23. Teresa R. says:

    When i was a child, we called 7 layer bars “Hello Dollies” and I loved them. This version sounds yummy and addictive. Thanks!

  24. Barbara says:

    We’re not nutella fans here — don’t hate me! Do you think we could substitute with peanut butter? Equal amounts?

    Love so much about this blog but especially the desserts!


    • Mel says:

      Barbara – I still love you! And yes, I think you could easily sub PB. I’d probably warm it in the microwave just a bit for a little drizzle action.

  25. You can kill me anytime with these bars!

  26. Kim in MD says:

    Yum! Ditto to everything Sheila said!

  27. Oh my word, these look amazing!!!!!

  28. Sheila says:

    I don’t know what I love most about this blog. Reading of your parenting wisdom to encourage your boys’ skills and confidence, the excitement of finding a “Mel Original”, or the yummy looking chocolate bar recipe guaranteeing to transport me into the “next world”. You are a precious habit that is all good, Mel! 🙂

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