Pumpkin Magic Bars

This is what happens when fall meets the classic magic bar dessert—a stepchild is born. Welcome my updated classic: pumpkin seven layer magic bar. While much of the classic component are there, I tweaked the flavor to reflect a pumpkin profile and since I’ve always found the classic far too sweet I took a few steps to offset it.

Pumpkin Magic Bars by Bakers Royale 21

Pumpkin Magic Bars

I started by adding shredded apples for more depth in flavor. After that I added roasted salted almonds and traded the heavy layer of chocolate for a generous sprinkling of chocolate chips.trans

Did it work? I think so.

Pumpkin Magic Bars via Bakers Royale1

If only life were this easy, right—add a little here, remove some from there and swap out one thing for another, and done. I’ve been told if life were that easy I’d bored. Here’s the thing, I don’t think so, friends. I think it would be rather nice to just throw away all my dirty clothes each week and by new rather than tether myself to home for the hours-on-hours it takes to load, transfer, fold and then put away all that stuff. And while I’m on a roll  I would love to have an extension on all my late deadlines.

. . . see,  I will take boredom any day. Any day.

**Recipe was modified September 2013, after several comments were left about the center not setting up. The original recipe calls for an 8×8 pan, I have since switched this recipe to be baked in a 9×13 pan to solve the “gooey center” problem**

Pumpkin Magic Bars via Bakers Royale 210x260

this recipe

Pumpkin 7-Layer Magic Bars

Yield: Makes one 9x13 pan


  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 16 whole crackers)
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 11 oz. golden delicious apples, shredded (about 2 regular size apples)
  • 11/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup salted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup chocolate chips



Heat oven to 350 degrees. Create a foil sling with a 1 inch over hang in a 9x13 pan..

  1. Combine graham crackers and butter  and stir until well blended. Press mixture onto bottom of pan
  2. Combine sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and stir until well combined. Pour mixture over graham cracker crust.
  3. Peel and core apples. Use the large side of the  grating box to shred the apples. Layer shredded apples on the sweetened sweetened condensed milk. Sprinkle on chocolate chips, followed by the almonds and then finish by sprinkling coconut on top.
  4. Place assembled pan in the oven and bake for about 35-45 minutes. Let cool in pan completely and then transfer finished pan to the refrigerator to chill before cutting.

A few notes:

  • You can easily switch out the pumpkin for apple butter to keep the fall flavor.
  • I used Blue Diamonds roasted salted almonds for the nut portion, but feel to switch that out to any nut that suits your preference.
  • The apples are not necessary, but again, I added them to scale back the sweetness and to add a slight fruity bite.


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  1. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonTAHERA WILLIAMS says

    I didn’t have any apples or almonds. I used walnuts instead. I OD’ed on the chocolate chips and coconut flakes. Completely delicious!

  2. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonCheryl DAmico says

    The bars taste good, but the top layers don’t hold together. What is suppose to bind the nuts, chocolate and coconut together?

  3. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonWanda Barefoot says

    This is a bit late to reply but a “foil sling” is simply a layer of foil that covers the bottom of the pan and extends over each end so that when you remove the bars from the pan you simply grab the ends of the foil and lift them out. Hope that helps.

    I have a question about the recipe. I would love to bake these next week for Thanksgiving. If I would like to omit the apple. What can I add to take their place a maintain the same consistency and not completely ruin the flavor combination?

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Wanda Barefoot replied: — November 19th, 2014 @ 9:41 am

      Also, if you omit the apple would that help the mushiness several say they had issues with? I know apples have some water content and I was wondering if that could contribute to the Mushiness?

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Wanda Barefoot replied: — November 19th, 2014 @ 10:34 am

      I think I have found my answer for a substitute. I’m going to omit the apple, even though I like the fruit aspect, and use marshmallows instead. Marshmallows and pumpkin go really well together. I also going to use butterscotch instead of chocolate chips and use the suggestion to pour the condensed milk and pumpkin mixture over the top to help with holding everything together. :)

  4. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonAmy @ Fearless Homemaker says

    Just made these for the first time, exactly as written, and they turned out fabulous! No problems setting up, or with mushiness. I imagine some of that depends on what type of apples you use, and how much moisture is in them. (I used Gala, as I usually do for baked goods). Loved the end result + husband will be sharing them with his officemates tomorrow! I’m sure they’ll love ’em, too. =)

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      WanDa Barefoot replied: — November 24th, 2014 @ 4:05 pm

      Thanks for sharing that Amy. I was a bit skeptical after several of the comments. I’m still going to switch out the apples for marshmallows but it’s great hearing you had such good results!

  5. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonWanda Barefoot says

    I made these last night and they were amazing! I substituted marshmallows for the Apples and used a ginger snap crust. I also poured the pumpkin mixture over the top to bind everything together and it worked perfectly. No problems with it setting up or anything. I love these and will definitely be making them again! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonLaurie says

    Absolutely DELICIOUS!! A huge hit !! I used pecans instead. This will be a new tradition at thanksgiving :)