Seven Layer Bars: Sweet, Gooey, Dairy-Free Deliciousness


It’s time for part two of this month’s Kids Can Cook section by the Hatfields. Last week, Katherine and her “mama”, Sarah, shared their easy recipe for homemade dairy-free butterscotch chips. And this week, they’re showing you one of their favorite ways to use those sweet morsels: dairy-free seven layer bars! 

Dairy-Free Seven Layer Bars Recipe - an ooey, gooey, vegan treat with homemade butterscotch chips

I love Seven Layer Bars. I was so exited to try the Seven Layer Coconut Ice Cream Bars that were entered in the So Delicious Frozen Fridays Recipe Contest. And testing that recipe made me realize that we don’t have a dairy-free Seven Layer Bar recipe on Go Dairy Free! So Katherine and I are sharing our version of the popular bar cookie, complete with Homemade Dairy-Free Butterscotch Chips.

These bars are a great recipe for kids to help with because a lot of the prep work is measuring and sprinkling fun ingredients such as chocolate chips, walnuts, and coconut. Children can also help crush the graham crackers into crumbs and drizzle the creamy of coconut cream or dairy-free sweetened condensed milk. Older kids can make the entire recipe by themselves!

Dairy-Free Seven Layer Bars are a bit more delicate than traditional Seven Layer Bars, so you might want to chill them after slicing but before serving. Even chilled, they will not be quite as firm as dairy seven layer bars. They also work well served individually in cupcake liners.

Canned cream of coconut is a quick, dairy-free sweetened condensed milk substitute that can be found with the drink mixes at your local grocery store. Or you can make Alisa’s Instant Dairy-Free Sweetened Condensed Milk Alternative or one of the recipes in her book, Go Dairy Free, to use instead.

Dairy-Free Seven Layer Bars Recipe - an ooey, gooey, vegan treat with homemade butterscotch chips

Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Seven Layer Bars

This recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, optionally vegan, and vegetarian.

Dairy-Free Seven Layer Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This adapted version of a classic recipe uses cream of coconut and homemade dairy-free butterscotch chips.
Serves: about 36 servings
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
  2. Put the graham crackers and buttery spread in a medium bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Pour the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish and press it firmly into the bottom to make a thin layer.
  4. Evenly sprinkle on the chocolate chips, followed by the butterscotch chips, the walnuts, and finally, the coconut.
  5. Pour the cream of coconut or sweetened condensed milk alternative evenly over the top.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  7. Let cool completely before cutting them into bars.
  8. For firmer bars, refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving..
  9. Store the bars covered at room temperature, or you can refrigerate the bars for a firmer texture. You can also individually wrap and freeze them, if desired.
*Be sure you are using sweetened condensed or cream of coconut - both of which are thick and sweetened. If you substitute coconut milk beverage or evaporated coconut milk, then your bars might not set.

Options: Don't have time to make the butterscotch chips or need to leave out the nuts? Just add extra dairy-free chocolate chips or coconut instead.

Key Ingredients: Dairy-Free Seven Layer Bars

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About Author

Sarah is the Associate Editor for Go Dairy Free. Her previous experience includes work as a copy editor at Thoroughbred Times magazine, a content writer at, and an intern at Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Sarah was a 'mom blogger' for many years but now mostly hangs out on Go Dairy Free and Instagram.


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