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These Christmas Brownies start with a layer of chocolate brownie, topped with layers of coconut, sweetened condensed milk, M&Ms and sprinkles. These Christmas Magic Layer Brownie Bars are the ultimate holiday dessert.
If you’re looking for something unique to add to your Christmas cookie platter, these Christmas brownies are it! Incredibly decadent and rich, they are the perfect burst of chocolate next to Molasses Cookies and Ricotta Cookies.
I came up with this idea of making the classic 7-layer magic bars with a layer of brownies instead of graham crackers last spring, and the result was this amazingly rich and chocolaty dessert. It was so popular in fact that I decided it deserved a holiday upgrade.Pin this recipe for later!
Table of Contents
Why We Love This Recipe
Magic layer bars traditionally have a layer of graham cracker and butter as the base, but I was out of graham crackers. A base layer of brownies seemed to be the perfect solution and boy were they!
These Christmas brownies are:
- Fun and Festive: With holiday candies and sprinkles, you can add whatever colors you want to match the holiday or event.
- Decadent: The brownie layer is rich and chewy and full of deep chocolate flavor, and more decadence is added layer by layer.
- Easy To Make: The brownies are just 7 ingredients and made all in one bowl. Then it’s just adding layers and baking! This easy recipe is perfect for all your holiday parties!
- Homemade Brownies: For the brownie layer, I used one of my favorite brownie recipes, but you can easily swap in a brownie mix if you prefer.
- Brownie Layer – Semi-sweet chocolate chips, butter, sugar, eggs, all-purpose flour, and vanilla extract.
- Nuts – This layer is optional if you have nut allergies.
- Holiday M&Ms – I used both mini and regular-sized candies for variation.
- Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
- Sweetened Flaked Coconut
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – You will use only ¾ of a cup from a 14-ounce can, which is about half the can. You can use the rest to make a second batch, or make a small, half batch of my Crock Pot Hot Chocolate.
- Holiday Sprinkles – Any kind of sprinkles will work.
How To Make Magic Layer Christmas Brownies
- Prep. Preheat the oven to 350℉. Generously grease a 9-inch baking pan or line with foil and spray with cooking spray.
- Make the brownies. Melt chocolate chips and butter in a large bowl, then mix in the rest of the ingredients and pour the brownie batter into a 9-inch square baking pan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until mostly baked through. It’s ok if they are a little jiggly in the center – you are going to bake more after adding the toppings.
- Add toppings. Sprinkle on all of the nuts, and most of the M&Ms and chocolate chips. Sprinkle on coconut then pour on half of a 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk. Sprinkle the remaining toppings over the milk.
- Bake. Put the brownies back in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. The edges should be golden and bubbly and the center just slightly starting to brown. Cool completely before serving.
Pro Tip – Baking Pan Size
The key to these delicious Christmas Magic Layer Brownie Bars is to make sure they get the right amount of cooking time.
You’ll notice in the instructions that I use a 9-inch square baking dish, and only half of a can of sweetened condensed milk. Using the whole can would result in too much of the topping on the brownies and they won’t bake right.
However, you could make these in a 13×9″ baking dish and use a little more of each of the topping ingredients, including using the whole can of sweetened condensed milk. The brownie would be thinner and as such would need less bake time, so watch closely.
Now, all that said, I prefer to use the smaller size pan because it results in a nice, thick chewy brownie.
How To Serve
Cool brownies completely then cut them into squares. If you used foil or parchment paper, use it to lift the brownies out of the pan and onto a cutting board. They are pretty rich so you could probably get 12-15 pieces if you cut them a little smaller.
These bars are best served at room temperature so the topping is nice and chewy. If you refrigerate them, you’ll want to let them sit out for 30 minutes before serving.
How To Store
Refrigerate: In an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. For best results, place parchment paper between layers to keep them from sticking.
Freeze: Lift brownies out of the pan and wrap with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Or wrap up individual squares for a decadent treat any time you like. Thaw on the counter for an hour before eating.
More Christmas Treats To Try
- Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies
- Meltaway Eggnog Cookies
- Iced Thumbprint Grinch Cookies
- Butter Cookies
- Chocolate Covered Pretzels
- Pinwheel Christmas Cookies
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Christmas Magic Layer Brownie Bars
- 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup salted butter 1 stick
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup nuts optional, divided
- ¼ cup mini holiday M&Ms divided
- ¾ cup regular Holiday M&Ms divided
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips divided
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk from a 14 ounce can
- ¼ cup holiday sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place butter and chocolate chips in a large, microwaveable mixing bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir, and continue microwaving and stirring in 30 second intervals until chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Beat in sugar, then vanilla and eggs, until well combined.
- Stir in flour until just combined. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven (brownies will jiggle a little but be done on top). Layer as follows: nuts, half of the chocolate chips, half of the M&Ms, and finally all of the shredded coconut. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top and spread gently to make sure it is evenly distributed. Sprinkle on remaining chocolate chips, M&Ms, and finally the sprinkles.
- Bake for an additional 25 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the middle is set and just starting to brown. If the top if browning too quickly, tent loosely with foil.
- Cool completely before cutting into squares with a sharp knife.
- Store in a tightly sealed container for up to one week.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
This did not cook as suggested. The milk bubbled up and it looks like a hot mess.
Sorry they didn’t work out for you. Often times the issue is using too much of the milk (only supposed to use 3/4 of a can) or not adding the candies over the milk. Not sure if these could be what happened with yours, but I have made this several times with great success.
I was so excited to make this, but all along the edges the condensed milk bubbled and it looks horrible! Did I do something wrong?
I’ve not seen that happen, but maybe you could just trim the edges?
I live in Sri Lanka and we dont have holiday m&ms but i want something with that look on top of the brownie. I need to bave an answer before the 25th because that is when I need it(for a Christmas party)
Hi Ella, I’m not sure what’s available to you; I would just check at the store? Only option I can think of would be to order them on amazon or pick out those colors from a regular bag.
Love the idea of a creamy topping layer but my family isn’t a huge fan of coconut. Any suggestions for a suitable replacement?
You could add some sliced almonds or chopped peanuts.
Would a box of brownie mix work instead of the homemade version in your recipe?
Yes I think it would, but a box mix may result in a softer brownie. The recipe I use is for a dense and chewy brownie, which works well against the heavier topping.
Just wondering if you can freeze these?
I haven’t, but I think you could. Just let them defrost on the counter for an hour or so before serving.
Thank you so much for this recipe! It was a hit with my coworkers during our holiday brownie bake-off!