Paleo Magic Bars

This type of dessert recipe has been known by a few different names. For example, it’s been referred to as “Magic Bars“, “Seven Layer Bars” and “Million Dollar Bars“. Paleo Magic Bars sounds the most fun. And it does have seven layers. Basically, it’s an easy recipe that happens to be gluten-free and grain-free. Because it has no eggs or dairy, it’s a vegan recipe as well. While it’s not a low-carb recipe per se, it does lend itself to being tweaked for keto.

Paleo Magic Bars

What Makes Paleo Magic Bars “Paleo”?

I designate it “Paleo” because that word helps people find recipes that are gluten-free, grain-free and dairy-free. In the case of magic bars, that typically use a wheat-based crust and sweetened condensed milk, this one is different. It uses almond flour for a cookie crust and sweetened, evaporated coconut milk instead of sweetened, condensed cow’s milk. I also use the type of chocolate chips that are allergen friendly (Enjoy Life).

Depending on your preferences and needs, you can choose evaporated coconut milk sweetened with cane sugar OR coconut sugar. My personal preference is to use the brand that contains two ingredients: Coconut Milk and Evaporated Cane Sugar. At least one of the brands that uses coconut sugar also includes guar gum. It’s also a bigger size than is needed for the recipe.

A third option is to make your own (see below for details). 

Paleo magic bars


How Sweet are the Paleo Magic Bars?

The Seven-Layer Paleo Magic Bars are sweeter than most of my other recipes, including those in my dessert cookbook “Sweet Paleo“. The cookie crust is lightly sweetened. But the combination of sweetened condensed coconut milk and chocolate chips make for a rich cookie. And the nuts and coconut flakes (unsweetened) make it very calorie dense.

Having said that, this type of cookie/bar has its place. I make them when I’m going to a potluck or other party where there are people who gravitate toward sweeter desserts. It also works great for vegans because there are no eggs or dairy. Keep reading for ideas on making it more keto-friendly.

Paleo Magic Bars Graphic

What Types of Nuts Work Best?

Regarding the choice of nuts in this bar – it’s flexible. I chose to use walnuts and pecans because I think those taste the best. Because we are “empty-nesters”, we have the flexibility to use any nut we want. Both our boys are allergic to walnuts and pecans, so when they are around I make this with a combination of slivered and and sliced almonds and they turn out delicious.

Paleo magic bars

Paleo Magic Bars Recipe is Easy

I have been experimenting with this recipe off and on for years. For some reason I could never get the crust right. It was it was either too crumbly or it was too soft and did not hold up. This version finally came out perfectly and it’s probably the simplest one I tried. Aside from the crust, requiring some mixing of ingredients and par-baking, the rest is just sprinkling on ingredients and pouring on the coconut milk. It’s truly an “easy” recipe you can make with ingredients in your pantry.

Paleo Magic Bars in Pan

How to Make Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk

If you don’t have access to a prepared sweetened condensed coconut milk product, or if you just prefer to control the ingredients, you can make your own. 

Combine one can of full fat coconut milk, 1/4 cup of maple syrup and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a saucepan. Bring the ingredients to a boil slowly and gently simmer while stirring until it is condensed down to about 1 cup (8 oz). 

The Seven-Layer Paleo Magic Bars Recipe is Flexible

You can make this easy 7-layer Paleo magic bar recipe using a variety of different ingredients. It’s flexible in terms of types of nuts and sweetened condensed milk as well as amount of sugar. Basically, you can add as little as the 7.4 ounce prepared can of condensed milk, or a little more if you happen to have a larger product on hand. If you are not dairy-free then feel free to use sweetened condensed milk.

If you are keto then I suggest you sub stevia-sweetened chocolate chips and make your own sweetened condensed coconut milk with low-carb sweetener instead of maple syrup.

It’s a sweet cookie bar that is calorie dense but can come in handy for special celebrations for paleo, vegan and even keto folks or anyone who follows a gluten-free diet.

I hope you enjoy them. Let me know what you think and tag me if you make them @paleospirit on social media.


Easy Seven-Layer Paleo “Magic Bars” {Vegan}

An easy 7-layer Paleo Magic Bar containing a cookie crust and layers of coconut, nuts and chocolate. Vegan recipe

  • Author: Lea Valle
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 bars 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Cookies
  • Diet: Gluten Free



For the Crust:

For the Toppings:

Equipment required: 8 x 8 baking pan, parchment paper


Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees F

  1. Weigh out the almond flour and combine with maple syrup, shortening, vanilla extract and salt in a stand mixer.
  2. Mix, slowly at first, until your dough comes together, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
  3. Cut parchment paper to about 8 x 16 inches and place into the bottom of the pan, leaving two sides hanging out.
  4. Place the cookie dough into the bottom of the 8 x 8 in. baking pan and pat down until it covers the bottom evenly.magic bar crust in pan
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes
  6. Sprinkle the nuts evenly on the par-baked cookie crust, followed by half the coconut flakes and half the chocolate chips. Repeat the coconut and chocolate chips layers one more time.
  7. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the pan.
  8. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack. Place fully cooled magic bars in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour before cutting.
  10. Once fully chilled, cut bars into 12 even pieces to serve.


See blog post for details on making your own sweetened condensed coconut milk. If you are using prepared sweetened condensed coconut milk, it’s recommended you heat it slightly to make it easier to pour and integrate into the other bar ingredients.

Keywords: Paleo; Magic Bars, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan