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Christmas Magic Cookie Bars – Oh Sweet Basil

Christmas magic cookie bars have a buttery graham cracker crust that is topped with a layer of sweetened condensed milk, then oats followed by a combination of different baking chips and m&m’s. You’re going to LOVE them!

A few years ago a friend asked why I never have a magic bars recipe on the blog and I told her, because I have never found one our family loves and I’m not posting unless I think it’s totally delicious!


Fast forward a few years and many recipes and the kids are here to tell you that this Christmas magic bars recipe is literally the only magic bars recipe you need . I love the simplicity of chocolates and grahams but you could always throw in salted peanuts or other nuts, different chips like butterscotch, dark chocolate, peanut butter m&m’s, the possibilities are endless! 

What is it about recipes and 7 layers? Have you ever noticed that? Why aren’t there 8 layers? Or 6? We even have our own collection 7 layer recipes…haha! Our 7 layer pea salad is so dreamy! And of course there is always a 7 layer Mexican dip, which contributed to the 7 layer dip taquitos. But anyway, 7 layers! Most magic cookie bars out there are called 7 layer magic cookie bars.

I don’t know how many layers you would say that these bars have. If you go straight from the ingredients list, then these are 7 layers too. You have the graham cracker crust, then the sweetened condensed milk, the oats and all the baking chips and m&m’s. But I’m not going to call them 7 layer magic bars because I want you to be able to add or omit “layers” to make your own magic.

a photo of a rectangular white baking dish filled with baked christmas magic bars that have been topped with christmas colored m&m's, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chocolate chips and semi sweet chocolate chips.


What Do I Need to Make Magic Cookie Bars?

Believe it or not, you are only 9 ingredients away from magic! Here is what you will need:

  • Graham Crackers – you can buy graham cracker crumbs or make your own in the food processor
  • Sugar – just regular white granulated sugar
  • Butter – helps bind the gc crumbs and sugar to make a crunchy crust, use unsalted, and melt it in the microwave for about 60 seconds
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – we always go with Eagle Brand, this layer binds everything together
  • Quick Oats – I love the texture of the quick oats in this recipe but you could use old fashioned if you prefer
  • Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips – feel free to swap these for milk chocolate or dark chocolate depending on what you like
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chips – swap with butterscotch chips if you want
  • White Chocolate Chips – adds sweetness and creaminess
  • Holiday m&m’s – you can use any m&m’s you want for any holiday or just for a normal day

The measurements for all the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post. 

a photo of a magic 7 layer bar taken from the side so you can see the bottom later of graham cracker crust, then a layer of oats, then sweetened condensed milk and all the baking chips and holiday m&m's on top.


More Options for Toppings

Part of what makes these cookie bars magic is layering it up in just the way you want it. If the toppings we love don’t quite do it for you, then here are several more options:

  • Coconut
  • Nuts – salted peanuts, pecans, almonds
  • Butterscotch Chips
  • Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Milk Chocolate Chips
  • Cinnamon Chips
  • Reese’s Pieces
  • Peanut Butter m&m’s
  • Flaky Sea Salt

Can I Use Evaporated Milk Instead?

No, definitely DO NOT use evaporated milk. They can look similar at the grocery store so don’t get them confused. Evaporated milk is thinner and not as sweet. It won’t bind everything together and will just make the graham cracker crust soggy. 


a photo of a large magic cookie bar topped with holiday m&m's, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chocolate chips, and semi sweet chocolate chips.


Why You Will Love This Recipe

Easy: there’s nothing fancy or complex about this recipe, just a little bit of mixing, a whole lot of sprinkling ingredients over the top and a quick and easy bake

Quick: there’s almost no mixing, there’s no cookie scooping, and bar cookies are so easy to cut up and give to friends

Customizable: all the layers are totally customizable, make it your own!

Great for any holiday: swap the Christmas m&m’s for any other holiday m&m’s (or even just regular m&m’s) to make them work for any occasion


a photo of a 9x13 white ceramic baking dish full of colorful magic cookie bars complete with red and green m&m's, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and semi sweet chocolate chips.


  • Use parchment paper and nonstick cooking spray in your baking dish. These get sticky so you don’t want them sticking to the pan.
  • The graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar will look and feel like wet sand once it is all mixed together. You will be able to pack it into the baking dish.
  • Make the sure the graham cracker crust is pressed EVENLY into the dish. I like the use the bottom of a measuring cup to press it into the pan.
  • All the toppings should be sprinkled evenly over the top of the crust.
  • Let them cool a little before cutting and serving them. They are delicious warm or at room temperature.

a photo of several square pieces of magic cookie bar topped with red and green holiday m&m's, peanut butter chocolate chops, white chocolate chips and semi sweet chocolate chips..


How to Store Magic Cookie Bars

These Christmas magic bars should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They will last for 3-4 days. If you want them to last a little longer, keep them in the refrigerator.

They also freeze very well. Let them cool completely and then place them in a freezer safe container or ziploc bag. Once frozen, they will last for up to 3 months.


We’ve been doing this blog for over 15 years now, and we finally have a magic cookie bars recipe! We have finally found the combination that we love and it’s time for all the world to know! There won’t be one of these left on the treat plate…I guarantee it!


More Christmas Baked Goods You’ll Love:


Servings: 15 bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


Christmas magic cookie bars have a buttery graham cracker crust that is topped with a layer of sweetened condensed milk, then oats followed by a combination of different baking chips and m&m’s. You’re going to LOVE them!

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • Preheat the oven the 350 and line a 9×13 with nonstick spray and press in a piece of parchment paper.

  • Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter and press into a 9×13.

  • Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top and spread evenly to the sides. Sprinkle the toppings evenly over the top and bake for 25 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature.

Serving: 1barCalories: 405kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 6gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 181mgPotassium: 249mgFiber: 2gSugar: 37gVitamin A: 332IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 132mgIron: 2mg

Author: Sweet Basil

Course: 100 Best Brownies and Bars Recipes, 500+ Best Dessert Recipes, Over 300 Christmas Recipes and Ideas to Bring the Christmas Spirit

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