Seven Layer Bar Cake


May 07

Seven Layer Bar Cake – layers of graham cracker crust, coconut chocolate chip cake layers, gooey coconut and pecan filling, butterscotch buttercream and a chocolate drip.

Seven Layer Bar Cake: inspired by a 7 layer bar, this Seven Layer Bar Cake is made up of graham cracker crust, coconut chocolate chip cake layers, a buttery, gooey coconut and pecan filling and a butterscotch buttercream. #sevenlayerbar #7layerbar #magicbars #sevenlayerbarcake #7layerbarcake #cake #layeredcake #birthdaycake

Seven Layer Bar Cake

I know it’s not a Monday, but I couldn’t wait (and I don’t think you could either) for this recipe to go live! Let me introduce you to my Seven Layer Bar Cake, also known as, my birthday cake.

This decadent, Seven Layer Bar Cake is inspired by the popular 7-Layer Bars (or Magic Bars, to some). A traditional 7-Layer Bar is made up of seven ingredients:

  • Butter
  • Graham crackers
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Butterscotch chips
  • Chocolate chips
  • Coconut
  • Pecans
Seven Layer Bar Cake: inspired by a 7 layer bar, this Seven Layer Bar Cake is made up of graham cracker crust, coconut chocolate chip cake layers, a buttery, gooey coconut and pecan filling and a butterscotch buttercream. #sevenlayerbar #7layerbar #magicbars #sevenlayerbarcake #7layerbarcake #cake #layeredcake #birthdaycake #cakebycourtney

Turning 7-Layer Bars into Cake

To turn this classic treat into a cake, I used all the flavors to inspire elements of the cake.

  • Butter – you’ll find this element everywhere! We have it in the graham cracker crust (like the bars do), in the cake layers, in the filling and in the buttercream.
  • Graham crackers – to keep the crunch of the 7-Layer Bar, I incorporate a graham cracker crust at the bottom of each cake layer.
Seven Layer Bar Cake: inspired by a 7 layer bar, this Seven Layer Bar Cake is made up of graham cracker crust, coconut chocolate chip cake layers, a buttery, gooey coconut and pecan filling and a butterscotch buttercream. #sevenlayerbar #7layerbar #magicbars #sevenlayerbarcake #7layerbarcake #cake #layeredcake #birthdaycake #cakebycourtney
  • Sweetened condensed milk – I originally thought about doing a sweetened condensed milk frosting, but after making it, decided it actually didn’t provide the flavor I was looking for. When we bake 7-Layer Bars, the sweetened condensed milk turns into more of a gooey, caramel layer and tastes nothing like SCM at all! I scrapped the SCM frosting and decided on this gooey, caramel-like filling adapted from a Milk Bar recipe that I also use in my German Chocolate Cake.
  • Butterscotch chips – for the butterscotch element, I did my butterscotch buttercream from my Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cake. It’s such a smooth and creamy consistency. You’re going to love it!
  • Chocolate chips – for the chocolate chips, I added mini chocolate chips in the cake layers and then added a chocolate drip to the top of the cake.
  • Coconut – I incorporated the coconut in the cake layers and the filling. However, rather than using raw coconut like most 7-Layer Bar recipes, I used toasted coconut. Always!
  • Pecan – I also toasted the pecans and added them to the filling with the coconut.
Seven Layer Bar Cake: inspired by a 7 layer bar, this Seven Layer Bar Cake is made up of graham cracker crust, coconut chocolate chip cake layers, a buttery, gooey coconut and pecan filling and a butterscotch buttercream. #sevenlayerbar #7layerbar #magicbars #sevenlayerbarcake #7layerbarcake #cake #layeredcake #birthdaycake #cakebycourtney

Tips

  • Plan ahead – because this cake has a lot of elements to it, plan ahead so you’re not trying to do everything within a couple hours.
  • Toss the chips – before you add the chocolate chips to the cake batter, toss them in a tablespoon of flour. This ensures the chips don’t sink to the bottom of the cake pan as the layers bake.
  • Room temperature ingredients – remember to always start with room temperature ingredients to get the best rise out of your layers.
  • Use a sharp knife – make sure to sharpen your knife before you cut this cake. The graham cracker crust makes it a little harder to cut through than a normal cake.
Seven Layer Bar Cake: inspired by a 7 layer bar, this Seven Layer Bar Cake is made up of graham cracker crust, coconut chocolate chip cake layers, a buttery, gooey coconut and pecan filling and a butterscotch buttercream. #sevenlayerbar #7layerbar #magicbars #sevenlayerbarcake #7layerbarcake #cake #layeredcake #birthdaycake #cakebycourtney

I hope you love this cake as much as we did!

Video Tutorial

Make sure to check out my video tutorial below for tips on how to stack and decorate this cake.

 

Seven Layer Bar Cake

Coconut chocolate chip cake layers baked on a graham cracker crust, filled with a buttery coconut and pecan filling with butterscotch buttercream and a chocolate drip.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Cake
Keyword Butterscotch Buttercream, Coconut Cake, Seven Layer Bar Cake
Servings 20 people

Ingredients

FOR THE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST

  • 25 (380 g) graham crackers full rectangle cracker
  • 3/4 cup (165 g) unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (5.6 g) salt

FOR THE COCONUT CAKE

  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 8 egg whites at room temperature (carton egg whites work too)
  • 1 cup (231 g) coconut cream from the can, melted
  • 1 tbsp (16 g) coconut emulsion
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 1/4 cups (367.25 g) cake flour
  • 1 tbsp (14 g) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5.6 g) salt
  • 1/2 cup (93 g) mini chocolate chips

FOR THE FILLING (adapted from Milk Bar)

  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (96 g) brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp (32 g) milk powder
  • 1 tsp (5.6 g) salt
  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter melted
  • 6 tbsp (87 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp (2 g) vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup (100 g) shredded, toasted coconut
  • 1 cup (125 g) chopped, toasted pecans

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  • 2 cups (454 g) unsalted butter slightly cold
  • 10 oz. butterscotch chips
  • 1/4 cup (57.75 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
  • 1 tsp. (4.2 g) vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • *This amount will give you enough to fill and frost your cake. If you want more for piping, I suggest adding an additional 1/4 to 1/2 batch.

FOR THE DRIP

  • 1/2 cup (93 g) dark or semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup (77 - 115 g) heavy whipping cream

Instructions

FOR THE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 F. Spray three 8-inch round pans or four 6-inch round pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottoms with parchment paper and spray again.

  2. In a large food processor or blender, pulverize the graham crackers to a fine, sand-line consistency.

  3. Add the melted butter, sugar, and salt (can all be done in the food processor). Mix until the graham crackers look "wet."

  4. Firmly press about 7 ounces of the graham cracker mixture into each pan to create a crust at the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust for about 5 minutes. Let cool a little while you make the cake batter.

FOR THE COCONUT CAKE

  1. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 F.

  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar. Mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

  4. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Gradually add egg whites in three additions, making sure to scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl between each addition.

  5. Stir in the coconut emulsion.

  6. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture with the melted coconut cream, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Only mix until the dry ingredients are incorporated.

  7. Toss the mini chocolate chips in a tablespoon of flour, and then fold them into the cake batter.

  8. Evenly divide the cake batter into the pans with the graham cracker crust in them. You'll pour the batter right on top of the crust and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.

  9. Let cool in pans for about 15 minutes before inverting onto wire racks to cool completely.

FOR THE FILLING

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9x13" with with nonstick spray. Set aside.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, brown sugar, milk powder, and salt. Mix on low speed until evenly blended.

  3. With the mixer on low speed, add the melted butter and stir for one minute until all the dry ingredients are wet.

  4. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and continue mixing on low speed for about one minute, until any of the white streaks from the cream have completely blended into the mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

  5. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg yolks, stirring them into the mixture until combined. Be careful not to over beat (aerate) the mixture, but certain the mixture is glossy and homogenous.

  6. Pour the filling into the prepared pan and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. You want the filling to be firmer and more set toward the outer edges of the baking pan but slightly jiggly and loose in the center. If the filling is still jiggly all over, give it another 2 to 3 minutes. But it's going to be soft! Once you add the coconut and pecans, and cools, it starts to set a little.

  7. Let the filling cool slightly and add the toasted coconut and toasted pecans. The filling can be used immediately or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy, about two minutes.

  2. While the mixer is beating the butter, heat the cream and then pour it over the chips to melt the chips. Stir until smooth. You may need to microwave the mixture for 20 to 30 seconds to get the chips totally melted. Let cool for a few minutes.

  3. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add the butterscotch mixture. This will likely soften your butter a bit, but don't worry, you can refrigerate it to set it.

  4. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for about 2 minutes.

  5. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, pinch of salt and gradually add the powdered sugar.

  6. Once everything is added, mix again for about 2 to 3 minutes.

FOR THE DRIP

  1. Heat the cream in the microwave and then pour over the chocolate chips to melt the chips.

ASSEMBLY (see video for demo)

  1. Place your first cake layer, with graham cracker side on the bottom, on a cake board or cake stand. Evenly spread about 1/2 cup of buttercream over the cake layer and then pipe a rim of buttercream around the edge of the cake.

  2. Fill the cake with about 1 cup of the filling, making sure to get eye level with the cake to ensure the filling goes on evenly.

  3. Place the second cake layer on top of the filling and repeat these steps.

  4. The last cake layer will also go on with the graham cracker side on the bottom.

  5. Apply a thin layer of buttercream over the entire cake. This is the crumb coat. Place the crumb coated cake in the freezer for 15 minutes to set.

  6. Once the crumb coat is set, continue to frost the cake with the remaining buttercream and then apply the drip.

  7. With the left over filling, roll into small balls and freeze for 15 minutes and then place onto the cake.

  8. The video above has step-by-step instructions for assembly.

6 thoughts on “Seven Layer Bar Cake

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  1. I’m so excited to try this cake! I’m getting my ingredients together. Question-Where do you find coconut emulsion? Is this something you can make or substitute something?

  2. Excited to finish this one! Question about the filling, mine came out very gooey and oily, I’m not quite sure I got it right but I did everything exactly step by step. It took about twice as long to set as the recipe said though. Did I miss something? Or is it right?