Seven Layers To Hell

WARNING! This story may cause weight gain. Remember, I told you! And yes, the recipe will be included at the end, so if you are really craving a sweet hit, just scroll to the bottom. I have been making “Seven Layers to Hell” ever since I was first given this recipe in 1971, although I must admit I haven’t made them for quite some time. Why? Well, if you really must know, it’s because I have no self-control!

It was May 1971 and my buddy Steve and I (both 20 years-old), set out on an epic adventure in a beat-up 1965 Volkswagen Bug, that would take us from Montreal to Vancouver, across the border and then down to California, Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Colorado, Chicago and back to Montreal. Three and a half months, 17,000 miles, and a boatload of memories! On our way to Los Angeles, California, we made a slight detour to visit my cousin and his wife who were living in Lake Tahoe CA at the time. We arrived there on June 1, driving the last 100 miles or so in a blinding snowstorm. The next morning, I took a picture of my car at around 8 AM. By 11 AM, it was sunny and 80 degrees, and the snow you see in the picture was gone!

On our second night there, my cousin’s wife made us a wonderful dinner and then brought out this dessert. They were small little squares, topped with nuts, and they were the most delicious things I had ever tasted! I asked her what the dessert was called, and she said: “Seven Layers to Hell.” At the time I thought that this was an interesting name for a dessert, but after eating too many of those little squares I understood the name! I asked her for the recipe, and as they say, the rest is history!

I have lost track of how many times I have made this dessert since 1971, and how many times I have shared the recipe. Many years later I was working in a bakery in a small coastal village on Vancouver Island, and a new restaurant that had just opened approached the owner of the bakery asking if she could come up with a dessert, they could sell that was not something the bakery sold. When I heard this, I offered up my recipe for Seven Layers to Hell, and the restaurant owner started to salivate. It became the only dessert he offered, and he would sell out well before closing time. He even placed a sign in front of the treats telling everyone they were called “Seven Layers to Hell.” Everyone in the town loved them except for one person. To be truthful, this person liked the desert, but since he was the minister of the town he objected to the name! The message here: Enjoy the sweets, just don’t piss off God!



Layer 1. 1 stick (1/2 C) butter

Layer 2. 1 C graham crumbs (regular or chocolate) I use regular

Layer 3. 1 pkg. chocolate chips (reg. or semi-sweet) I use regular

Layer 4. 1 pkg. butterscotch chips

Layer 5. 1 pkg. coconut flakes

Layer 6. 1 can (14 oz.) sweet and condensed milk

Layer 7. 1 C of chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts) I use pecans


1. Preheat oven to 350o

2. Melt butter in a 9×13 pan (If you are using the stove top to melt the butter, use a pan that can be heated on the stove top and then be placed in the oven. Certain Pyrex products cannot do both!) I unfortunately learned this the hard way!

3. When the butter is melted, pour in the graham crumbs to cover entire pan

4. Add the chocolate chips

5. Add the butterscotch chips

6. Add the coconut

7. Add the sweet and condensed milk

8. Add the chopped nuts

9. Bake at 350o for 30 minutes (or until brown around the edges)

10. Cool completely, then refrigerate for 3-4 hours (overnight is best)

11. Remove from pan and cut into 1–2-inch squares

12. EAT


14. Enroll in 12-step program!

Los Angeles 2022

7 thoughts on “Seven Layers To Hell

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