Magic Coconut Bars

 Everyone remembers the old-fashioned Magic Cookie Bars made with a graham cracker crust, butter, chocolate chips, pecans, flaked coconut and sweetened condensed milk…heavenly, caramelly, chocolatey yummi-ness…with a nice side of gluten gut bomb, a sugar rush and then the inevitable crash!

I occasionally make treats that are fruit-sweetened or completely unsweetened that I can enjoy as part of my grain-free “paleo-primal” lifestyle but every once in a while I like to make a full-on DESSERT.  Make no mistake here…this is a special occasion treat, great to make for a party or a crowd, definitely not one to make on a Saturday night when you are alone at home!  All in all as far as desserts go it’s really not too terrible, the entire thing only has 3 tablespoons of sweetener for sixteen servings (just about 1/2 teaspoon per serving)…again not bad if you are feeding a crowd, disastrous if you eat the entire thing by yourself.  It’s a bit labor intensive but SO worth it!

Magic Coconut Bars


3/4 cup blanched almond flour

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon coconut nectar, honey or maple syrup (optional)

1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 metal or glass dish with parchment paper so that it hangs over the sides for easy removal.  Combine all ingredients for the crust in a large bowl and press firmly into the prepared pan.  Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool on wire rack while preparing the filling.

Magic Filling:

1 can full fat coconut milk (I use Native Forest)

2 Tablespoons coconut nectar, honey or maple syrup

1 Tablespoon vanilla

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

In a saucepan over medium heat bring coconut milk, sweetener and vanilla to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 45 minutes, stirring frequently until it’s reduced by half.  The coconut milk mixture should be very thick, you should have about 3/4 cup once reduced, remove from heat and cool slightly.  Pour 1/2 of the condensed coconut milk over the crust and spread to the edges. Layer half of the shredded coconut, half of the chocolate chips and half of the pecans on top of the coconut milk and lightly press down on the toppings.  Add a second layer with the remaining shredded coconut, chocolate chips and pecans.  Pour remaining 1/2 of condensed coconut milk over the top of the layers.  Top with flaked coconut.

Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool for one hour (I KNOW!) on a cooling rack.  Next, place the pan in the refrigerator and cool for 2 hours (I KNOW, I KNOW!) or in a pinch cool in the freezer for 1 hour.  Gently lift the parchment out of the pan and place bars on a cutting board or other flat surface.  Using a large knife cut into 16 squares.


This is a lovely treat to make for Valentine’s Day!

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back FridayFresh Bites Friday, Wellness Weekend, Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love, Make Ahead Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday


  1. Wow! These look amazing! I used to love magic cookie bars before I stopped eating grains…I’m definitely going to give these a try!

  2. Wowzah! I can’t wait to try these. They look absolutely spectacular. I’m so glad you shared on Wellness Weekend! 🙂

  3. Oh my god yum!

    Full fat coconut milk is sooooooooo rich, what do you think would happen if one used light?

    • Well the idea is to reduce the coconut milk down until it is thick and creamy like sweetened condensed milk so I’m not sure how it would work with light…I truthfully have never used light coconut milk so I’m unfamiliar with it. Although, I think it’s probably just a watered down version of the full fat so maybe just a longer cook time on the reduction process…let me know if you try it and how it turns out!

  4. OMG! I am drooooling! Have to have these…. now!

  5. Thank you so much for the recipe! These look and sound fantastic! I’ll have to substitute for unsweetened chocolate. I wonder if chia seeds would give and little chew to the coconut sauce…..Gotta go experiment!

  6. Another amazing recipe, this one is pinned! Please share at Allergy Free WEDNESDAYS IF YOU GET TO IT, THIS IS AWESOME!

  7. btw, I am your newest follower, I keep stumbling upon your recipes, so it must be a sign!!

  8. This dessert looks great! I would love it if you linked up this recipe to my blog hop for a chance to win a cookbook prize package:

  9. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

  10. you are a genius! I love magic cookie bars and and so glad I found a recipe that won’t make me sick. thanks

  11. Oh WOW! Yummy!! I do think with the 45 minutes to reduce, I’d have to go ahead and double the batch – LOL! But I could freeze extra portions for when we wanted just a bit of dessert. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Holy cow, these DO look magical!

  13. Wow- these bars look great! Whenever I look at a new recipe I usually have to think of substitutions for things that I don’t eat but not with this recipe. All of the ingredients that you used are things that I cook with too. Thanks for the recipe!
    I am subscribing to your posts right now! You might be interested in some of the recipes on my blog too.

    • I’m the same way…modify, modify, modify! I LOVE this recipe, it’s become one of my favorite…it’s not too sweet but just sweet enough and the texture is so comforting…it freezes AND travels well too! I met my husband in Dubai for vacation last month and packed up a batch of these and put them in my checked luggage and they arrived fully in tact after almost 20 hours of traveling…
      I will definitely be checking out your blog!

  14. Do you think these would freeze well? They look delicious and I can not wait to try them!

    • Oh yes they freeze beautifully! I travel with them quite regularly…I wrap them in parchment and then freeze them…I usually pack them tightly in a container so they don’t slide around too much but they seem to be pretty sturdy and hold up well (I have even carried them from Denver to Dubai, 20+hours of travel, successfully!). I hope you love them as much as I do!

  15. Stephanie says:

    I just pulled the crust out of the oven and am boiling down the coconut milk mixture. I don’t know how long I can wait – it smells amazing! I don’t have pecans, so I’ll be swapping them out for chopped macadamia nuts. I’ll check back in a few hours with how it turns out!

  16. These are worth the work! I think I’d use a little less chocolate next time, and there will definitely be a next time.

  17. I made these tonight and yes, they are as good as they look! Thank you for such a great treat idea! Magic Cookie Bars are incredibly sinful and a caloric nuclear bomb — this version might still be high in calories but at least it’s WAY less sugar! This recipe doesn’t disappoint!

  18. I just tried to make this and could not get the milk to cook down or get thick. I had it on med heat and when it boiled turned it down to low to simmer. What did I do wrong?

  19. Can you use GF all purpose flour instead of the almond flour?

  20. can you use coconut flour instead of almond flour? I just found out I cant have almonds.

    • How funny you commented on these, they are cooling on the stove right now! You couldn’t sub it one to one for the nut flour and you will need to add egg or egg white. Not sure how much though… Could you sub another nut flour? It would be great with pecan meal.

  21. These are soo good. Since going Paleo, I have been craving a satisfying treat. This is it. I used walnut because I was out of pecans. Also, the wax paper stuck to the crust a little? Loved it.

  22. discovering a whole new world of food says:

    I am allergic to almond. Is there an alternative to the almond flour?

  23. I love your recipes!.

  24. So good! I’ll make these again and again. I used half coconut milk and half coconut cream to reduce the reduction time. I still can’t believe this yummy, chewy dessert won’t make me break out!

  25. I am just finishing up my first attempt at these, but I substituted 1 T of agave, some erithrytol and a tiny bit of stevia. Unfortunately, my coconut milk never thickened up enough, so I ended up adding a little guar gum. I’m not loving the consistency of the mixture, but it seems to taste good. Keeping my fingers crossed!

  26. stephanie says:

    do you add the coconut milk to only the cery bottom and the very top? im a little confused since the firections say do a second layer, just of the add ins right?

  27. If you are going to have a “print” button can’t it at least ONLY print the recipe and not the 12 pages of comments? Annoying and wasteful.

    • Sorry about that but this is a personal blog and not a paid website the PRINT feature is not an addition that I can edit or remove. In the future when you choose to print a recipe may I suggest that you preview the print in your settings and just select the pages you would like to print…I have had to learn this the hard way as so many bloggers do not have a dedicated recipe print feature…mostly the bigger blogs that have a lot more traffic and pay to have their sites run/monitored/advertised have that available.

  28. Just made these with a few moderations. Absolutely AMAZING! I can’t stay away and my whole family loved them as well! Thanks for sharing! (:

  29. Jessica says:

    These were so amazingly delicious! Definitely worth the time!

  30. I love this recipe! I have made these bars several times and they perfectly satisfy my sugar cravings without being overly sweet. It also has a slightly salty taste which makes these even more awesome! Each time I’ve made this though, I do have to heat the coconut milk mixture on the stove for about twice as long as mentioned in the recipe. I wish I could figure an easier way to do it and measure the coconut milk sauce while since in the pan. These are a little time consuming but I usually double the recipe and freeze a pan for later. They are well worth the effort!! Love them, thank you!

  31. Soooo good. Yes, they are time consuming (since you are making your own vegan condensed milk) but so worth it. My daughter LOVES them!!

  32. You want to know a not-so-secret secret? If you substitute cashews for the crust instead of almonds, you’ll get that graham cracker taste. I know.. I’ve done it. Lol

  33. What brand of coconut flakes do you use?

  34. Hi, would these be considered low carb? Most of the ingredients, are what I’ve been using..except the nectar, honey and maple. Love ‘magic bars’ hoping i can add this to my low carb Fav’s!

  35. Anne Everett says:

    Everyone loved these bars! Reducing the coconut milk took more like an hour and 15 minutes but it was well worth the extra time.


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