These pumpkin spice seven layer bars are appropriately autumnal yet hearken back to the classic with graham crackers, sweetened condensed milk, coconut, and chocolate. Lovely any time of year.
Pumpkin Spice Seven Layer Bars
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 1 H
- Makes 20 bars
Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil, leaving a slight overhang on at least 2 sides. Lightly butter the foil.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the stick of butter, about 90 seconds on high. Add the graham cracker crumbs and stir until well combined. Dump the buttery crumb mixture into the prepared pan and use your fingers or a spatula to press the crumbs into an even layer.
In the same bowl (no need to wash it), combine the pumpkin, half the sweetened condensed milk (just eyeball it), cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice, and stir to combine. Pour the mixture over the cookie crust and smooth it lightly with a spatula.
Sprinkle the pumpkin layer evenly with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, and coconut—in that order.
Evenly drizzle the remaining sweetened condensed milk on the chips and coconut. Bake the seven layer bars for 30 to 35 minutes for slightly gooey bars or 42 to 48 minutes for somewhat firmer bars. You’ll want to start checking the pan around 30 minutes and watch them quite closely from there, as you want the coconut to turn golden brown around the edges but not burn.
Let the bars cool completely in the pan, which will probably take at least 2 hours. (Yeah, good luck with your willpower and waiting that long. You can hasten the cooling process by letting the pan cool for a few minutes at room temperature and then shoving it in the fridge, which will also help to set the sorta mushy pumpkin layer, although we recommend the cheater’s fridge tactic only if using a metal baking pan.)
Use the foil edges to lift out the solid chunk of seven layer goodness and slice it into squares or rectangles. The bars will keep in an airtight container in the fridge or on the counter at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. (Good luck, too, with the bars—and your willpower—lasting that long.) Originally published October 23, 2014.
- Pumpkin Seven Layer Bars With A Little Bling
If you’d like to make these sing with a little extra bling, sprinkle the bars with 1/2 cup any of the following after adding the chips and before adding the coconut: diced candy-bar pieces, chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), pumpkin seeds, toffee bits, chopped cream-filled sandwich cookies, or anything else you dream of sprinkling on.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This pumpkin seven layer bars recipe is not for the faint of heart in regards to sugar. It delivers on the long-standing promise of traditional seven layer bars being a sweet, gooey, scrumptious, not healthy delight. This version is a sweet crowd-pleasing dessert that is VERY easy to make.
The pumpkin makes the bottom layer bake up into something with more of a cookie-like consistency than the classic. This version also had more height and felt a bit more substantial. The pumpkin flavor was very subtle. If you’re looking for something with an intense pumpkin presence, this won't be your recipe. But if you want a version of seven-layer bars that has more of a fall feel to it, given the cinnamon and the pumpkin pie spice, this fits the bill. I can imagine that adding a few more spices—nutmeg and maybe even some ginger—would add even more flavor to this recipe. I used semisweet chocolate instead of white chocolate chips.
I would make these again!
Every year I bake the traditional seven layer bars. I don’t know if I'll ever make those again, as these pumpkin seven layer bars are so wonderful. I was so excited to make these, I didn't pay close enough attention to the instructions and baked mine in a 9-by-13-inch pan. I thought the layers were a bit thin, but that didn't deter my enthusiasm for these bars. After I baked them, I reread the recipe and, realizing my mistake, I was nervous to try the finished bars. They were still really good. I decided to make them a second time using the correct pan. I used gingersnaps for my crust for both batches. I found the entire stick of butter to be a bit too much the first time around, so I cut it down to 6 tablespoons of butter for my second batch, which was more than adequate. The first batch I made with white chocolate, butterscotch, and chocolate chips. The second batch I made with just the butterscotch and chocolate chips. Both batches took about 42 minutes to bake in my oven, so in about an hour, I had a unique pumpkin treat everyone loved. I'd eat either version any time, any place. They're amazing.