Pumpkin 7-Layer Bars | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

Remember how I figured out how to make sweetened condensed milk?  Well, I admit that it was at least partially so that I could make seven layer bars.  And not just any seven layer bars, but pumpkin seven layer bars.  I think we are all in agreement that everything is better with pumpkin.  Don’t even think about disagreeing with me.

And yes, I know that there aren’t really seven distinctive layers here, so you can either pick your favorite seven ingredients in the recipe, or you can use mine.  I will rank them below the fold. My declared seven layers: graham cracker crust, pumpkin puree & spices, cream cheese, chocolate chips, pecans, coconut, sweetened condensed milk.  See?  Now they really are pumpkin seven layer bars!

But that is neither here nor there.  I mean, how to they taste?  Well, in a word: amazing.  You really can taste the pumpkin, and the spiciness and warmth of the cinnamon really comes through.  The crust is crumbly and rich, and the crackliness of the baked coconut and sweetened condensed milk is just the right contrast in texture to make this the perfect dessert for entertaining.

Equipment Needed:

  • measuring cups and spoons
  • small saucepan, rolling pin, wooden spoon,
  • large glass bowl and a hand mixer
  • large baking dish OR 9×13 glass pan, small spatula, good knife

Notes:  Don’t cover the entire top of the bars with a layer of sweetened condensed milk, otherwise it will create a crust on the top that makes it difficult to poke through with a fork.  Instead, drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the top, leaving space for the coconut to see through.

I still haven’t perfected my own homemade graham crackers, so that is the reason it still isn’t posted here on the blog.  But rest assured that I will figure it out and update this recipe when I do!

Also, this recipe is very rich, so make sure you cut these bars into small squares.  A little goes a long way.

Pumpkin 7 Layer Bars

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (buy grass-fed butter here, how to make butter here)
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, preferably made from sprouted grains
1 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened (how to make “cream cheese”)
1/4 – 1/2 cup whole cane sugar (buy whole cane sugar here)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (buy spices here)
1 cup chocolate chips (how to make chocolate chips)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (how to soak and dehydrate nuts)
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut (buy shredded coconut here)
1/2 – 1 cup sweetened condensed milk (how to make sweetened condensed milk)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a small saucepan, melt the butter.
  2. In a large plastic bag place several graham crackers, remove all the air possible, and seal the bag.  Roll a rolling pin over the crackers until they form finely ground graham cracker crumbs.  Measure out and add the crumbs to the melted butter, stirring to combine well.
  3. Pour the graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of a large baking dish or 9×13 pan.  Press the crumbs down to form a packed crust.  Bake until fragrant and golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, put the pumpkin puree, cream cheese, sugar, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl and beat with the hand mixer until smooth and fluffy.  When you take the baked crust out of the oven, spoon this pumpkin mixture over the crust and smooth out in an even layer.
  5. Sprinkle the chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut in order over the pumpkin mixture.  Drizzle with sweetened condensed milk.  Bake until the coconut is fragrant and lightly toasted, about 35-45 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes before cutting.  Preferably, let them cool completely and then cut.  But who are we kidding?  You have to eat one while it’s still warm, right?