These Paleo 7 Layer Bars are 7 layers of delicious, unrefined sweet goodness and one rich sweet treat.
Holy moly, there is such a thing as PALEO 7 layer bars, people.
Can you believe it?
Growing up, 7 layer bars were those fantastic little bars of magic that other people’s moms would make and share with friends and family during the holidays.
When I ate them, I’d wonder what all the layers were and how they fit so much sweetness and deliciousness into tiny little bars.
Was it really SEVEN layers?
Then, the holidays would pass and I’d forget about them…until next year at Christmas and they came back into my world and the whole thing repeated itself.
I’d think, “What are 7 layer bars and how are these people so dang nice to bake them and then share them with complete strangers?” What a nice gesture!
These paleo 7 layer bars make the PERFECT gift for your friends and family since they look amazing and can easily be packaged. It now makes so much sense why I used to see these magical 7 layer bars everywhere during the holidays. Plus, they’re easy to make and, now that we can make them vegan, paleo, and even clean eating, you can share with almost anyone!
Just like I remember as a kid, it was always such a special gift to share with friends and family. You could share with your neighbor, your child’s teacher(s), the neighborhood firehouse, use them as a hostess gift, or someone else you care for.
This season is one of the hardest for people dealing with the loss of someone, so I think a gift of these paleo magic bars is a nice way to remind them that we are there for them and love them. I plan to share these baked bars with our friends who are experiencing a recent very difficult loss. What better way to share the love this season?
WHAT’S IN A SEVEN LAYER BAR?
I always wondered what the heck are the 7 layer bars ingredients that make the layers of these tasty bars. Turns out that regular Seven Layer Bars have a graham cracker crumb base and are topped with some combination of nuts, chocolate chips, white chocolate, butterscotch, and coconut. All that is usually held together by sweetened condensed milk. If you’re thinking, “Oh my goodness, that’s a lot of sugar!” You’re right. If you’re thinking, “Wow, that sounds amazing,” then you’re right as well!
Are magic bars different from 7 layer bars?
I decided to make these magic little bars into paleo 7 layer bars to avoid all the refined sugar and grains that you’ll typically find in a 7 layer bar. There was just one last question I needed to have answered: What’s the difference between magic bars and 7 layer bars??? I finally found out: NOTHING! You could easily just call these bars 7 layer magic bars.
And…it makes sense, when you think about it, since they are pretty much magical, especially when they are paleo! Plus — these bars are also vegan and clean! Woot!
HOW TO MAKE SEVEN LAYER BARS
If you’ve been laying off the magic 7 layer magic cookie bars this holiday season because of their layers of processed sugars and fats, I have some good news for you. We can make these magical bars of goodness PALEO, VEGAN and CLEAN so you can treat yourself and still maintain your healthy eating goals! How do we do it? To make my 7 layer bar recipe…
- replace the graham cracker crumb crust with an almond flour crust;
- replace milk chocolate chips with dark chocolate chips (the higher cacao percentage, the better — look for anything over 70%);
- replace sweetened coconut flakes with unsweetened coconut flakes (easy!);
- make your own sweetened condensed coconut milk with just coconut milk and pure maple syrup;
- replace the butterscotch with our own homemade salted caramel sauce;
So that’s how to make magic bars. Easy, right?
All in all, these bars are dense, sweet, and completely indulgent EVEN THOUGH they’re paleo, vegan, and clean eating. Hello, perfection! And hello, healthy paleo desserts!
MAKING SEVEN LAYER BARS A PALEO DESSERT
As you probably know, paleo sweets, actually any paleo recipe, really, are not made with processed ingredients. That includes sugar and flour. As I already explained, I replaced wheat flour with almond flour, condensed milk with homemade condensed coconut milk, and butterscotch with homemade salted caramel sauce in my paleo bars recipe.
If you don’t want to use almond flour, you can replace it with:
- chickpea flour;
- cassava flour;
- coconut flour;
- hazelnut flour.
ALMOND FLOUR VS WHEAT FLOUR
If you’re not sure about the almond flour yet, let’s do a quick almond flour vs wheat flour comparison to see which type of flour is better.
- 640 calories per cup;
- 24g protein;
- 24g carbs;
- 12g fiber;
- 56g fat.
- 408 calories per cup;
- 16g protein;
- 86g carbs;
- 13g fiber;
- 3g fat.
As you can see almond flour is higher in fat and in calories. However, almond flour is packed with nutrients and provides numerous health benefits.
Almond flour is:
- rich in vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant in the body, preventing damage caused by free radicals and decreasing the risk of heart disease and cancer;
- rich in magnesium – a nutrient that lowers blood pressure and improves blood sugar control;
- lower in carbs;
- higher in protein.
PALEO SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
While the other layers of these layered cookie bars are pretty self-explanatory, I think the paleo salted caramel sauce deserves our full attention because it replaces butterscotch wonderfully and it’s so darn amazing. To make the paleo salted caramel sauce for these 7 layer magic bars, I used:
- coconut oil;
- pure maple syrup;
- almond butter;
- vanilla extract;
- sea salt.
Sounds amazing already, am I right? It’s also quick and easy to make.
HOW TO STORE YOUR SEVEN LAYER BARS
If you’re like me, you devour the first bar, but then it gets a little too sweet and you need a break. If that’s the case, you can easily store the bars at room temperature, in the fridge or freeze these bars for later — they make a great grab and go sweet treat since they store perfectly in the freezer and can even be eaten frozen.
Store the 7 layer bars:
- at room temperature in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap for 3-5 days;
- in the fridge, wrapped in plastic wrap for up to a week.
To freeze them…
- completely cool the paleo 7 layer bars;
- slice into the squares;
- freeze each square on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper first;
- after they are frozen, wrap them in plastic wrap and then put them in large freezer bags.
Frozen this way, they’ll last 3-4 months in the freezer.
To defrost, unwrap the lemon bars from their plastic wrap and then allow to thaw in the refrigerator. Keeping the bars wrapped in plastic wrap when they thaw will make the plastic stick to them.
MORE HEALTHY PALEO RECIPES
In case you need more paleo recipes, particularly paleo desserts, I have some I think you might like. All of them are as yummy as they can be but clean and healthy too.
4 IRRESISTIBLE PROTEIN PALEO COOKIES
These 4 Irresistible Protein Paleo Cookies are incredibly easy to make and, like all paleo recipes, are made with no processed ingredients, which makes them both delicious and healthy.
In case you want to know the flavors of the cookies, we have Peanut Butter, Chia Seed Lemon, Chocolate Chunk, and Oatmeal Raisin. Get the recipes.
PALEO APPLE CRUNCH MUFFINS
Who doesn’t love a good muffin for breakfast, right? These Paleo Apple Crunch Muffins are not only perfect for breakfast but they are also great paleo desserts you can enjoy after dinner.
The muffins are hearty, filled with amazing apple and cinnamon flavors, and have a crunchy and delicious topping. Get the recipe.
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 2 1/2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, softened
- 1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts, chopped
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. almond butter
- 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp. sea salt
- 1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F and lining a square baking dish with parchment paper and then set it aside.
For our first layer, we’ll be making an almond meal crust.
In a large bowl, add the almond flour, pure maple syrup, and softened coconut oil. Mix this together to create a dough that holds together when pressed.
Press this dough evenly into the bottom of the casserole dish using your hands or a spoon.
Then, place this into the oven and bake until it’s lightly golden brown, about 14-16 mins.
Then, remove from the oven and add a layer of chopped macadamia nuts over top. Lightly press the macadamia nuts into the almond meal crust.
Over the macadamia layer, add the unsweetened coconut flakes.
Then, add a layer of dark chocolate chips.
To make the salted caramel sauce, in a sauce pan over medium heat, combine coconut oil and pure maple syrup, and stir together.
Once heated through, add almond butter, and then whisk together until smooth.
Remove from heat, then add in the vanilla extract and sea salt.
Drizzle a layer of our salted caramel sauce over the layer of dark chocolate morsels.
Then, top that with a layer of chopped almonds.
To make the homemade condensed coconut milk, in a sauce pan over medium-high heat, and whisk together coconut milk and some pure maple syrup.
Bring this mixture to a low boil, stirring frequently, then, turn the heat to medium and and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. The sauce will reduce by half.
Remove the sauce from the heat and allow to slightly cool.
Pour 1 cup of this sweetened coconut milk as evenly as possible over the top of the bars, and then gently move the pan around until the mixture begins to sink between the layers.
Place this into the oven and bake until the sides are lightly golden brown, and the top is bubbly and melted, about 25-30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Then, chill or freeze until completely solid.
When ready to eat, slice into squares and enjoy.
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