7-Layer Brownie Bars

I think it’s about time for a recipe around here, don’t you? 😉

As I was thinking about a topic for a Tuesday post, I realized I hadn’t posted any recipes lately. I have no idea why…I love food! I really enjoy posting recaps of my trip last fall and WIAWs, but sometimes, you just can’t beat a good recipe!

These 7-Layer Bars were actually inspired by a recipe I found on the back of a Ghirardelli brownie mix box. My recipe is almost exactly the same as the original, except for the fact that my bars don’t contain any nuts (obviously). However, I knew that the crunch was an essential part, so I added a secret ingredient: pretzels. They add such great crunch and saltiness to counter the gooey sweetness of the rest of the recipe.

The first time I made these bars was for a road trip to Cedar Point amusement park. My friend Sarah, her mom, and I had such fun hanging out, talking, and eating these things. In fact, we had so much fun, we took the trip again the next year, and I brought these along again! Yeah, they probably weren’t the best idea health-wise, but honestly, 7-Layer Bars are a lot more fun than carrots and celery sticks! 🙂

7-Layer Brownie Bars (E, N, D?)
adapted from Ghirardelli

– 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
– 1 (20 oz.) box Ghirardelli double chocolate brownie mix
– 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
– 1 cup butterscotch chips (I use Nestle brand)
– 1 cup mini chocolate chips
– 1 cup coarsely chopped pretzels
– 1 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Pour melted butter into a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  2. Sprinkle the brownie mix into the pan, and let it soak up the butter. (YUM.)
  3. Top with coconut, butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, and pretzels, creating a layer of each.
  4. Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the top, distributing evenly.
  5. Bake for 25-35 minutes (baking time varies depending on the oven), or until the edges are all bubbly.
  6. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Or cut right into them while they’re still warm. I won’t judge.

– For some reason, I couldn’t find the original recipe on the Ghirardelli website. But just know this recipe is very slightly adapted from that one – I’m not claiming it as my own! 🙂
– In the pictures above, I used regular-sized chocolate chips. However, I used mini the other times I made it, and definitely prefer those. They cover more square inches with their melty chocolateiness.
– Instead of using regular pretzels, I used these Nibblers by Snyder’s. They’re thicker than regular pretzels and don’t get soggy from the other ingredients, even after they’ve been sitting for a while. If you can’t find those, you could use those giant sourdough pretzels, or I’m sure regular ones would be just fine. 🙂
– These bars contain dairy, but I’m thinking they could be converted to non-dairy/vegan.

  • You could easily use margarine in place of the butter.
  • Many boxed brownie mixes do not contain dairy (though others do, so just be careful!).
  • The butterscotch chips do have dairy in them, but dairy-free versions do exist! (I just looked them up online!)
  • Finally, there are plenty of versions of vegan condensed milk. Here’s a recipe!

I hope that helps for those of you who have dairy sensitivities or are allergic! 🙂

P.S. While my favorite way to eat these bars is straight from the pan, they’re also amazing with a bit of ice cream (especially when they’re hot out of the oven). 😀

…but honestly, straight out of the pan is my favorite way to enjoy them!


  1. Oh, too decadent!

    Popped in from Photo Friday.


  2. Those are so decadently delicious! Thank you for linking up on Photo Friday at Ladies Holiday- hope to see you next week 🙂

    1. They’re almost TOO decadent! 🙂 Thanks, see you next week!

  3. […] other night, I was in that baking mood again. My mom suggested that I make 7-Layer Brownie Bars, but we didn’t have sweetened condensed milk, and I didn’t feel like making my own. I […]

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