French Chew

This is yet another traybake where I have no idea on the origins of the name. This was a new traybake to me. I don’t remember ever eating French Chew. I don’t remember ever baking French Chew. But the recipe looked interesting, so I thought I’d give it a go. Now, having no real point of reference to compare it to (and my internet searching proved fruitless), I therefore have to assume that this is an accurate representation.

This traybake has a soft sponge base, topped with a thin layer of coconut, brown sugar meringue. That’s it. Pretty simple and straightforward. Also pretty tasty.

Yes, you have to make meringue for this traybake. Don’t be too daunted by that. Just take it slowly, make sure your bowl is clean and add the sugar slowly. There is only one egg white in this meringue topping, so it makes a pretty thin layer. Which can also make spreading it on the cake base a little tricky. My suggestion is to dollop small blobs of the meringue evenly over the case base and then spread very gently and carefully.

And, if you’re a fan of brown sugar meringue, then you could always try my Brown Sugar Meringues recipe. And for a similar cake-like base and meringue topping, then you could try Yum Yum Cakes.

French Chew

A soft, sponge cake base, topped with a thin layer of coconut, brown sugar meringue.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine british, Irish
Servings 9 squares



  • 2 oz or 55g butter
  • 2 oz or 55g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 3 oz or 75g plain flour (all-purpose flour)
  • ½ tsp baking powder


  • 1 egg white
  • 2 oz or 55g brown sugar
  • 2 oz or 55g desiccated coconut


  • Preheat your oven to 350F/180C (conventional oven) and line a 20cm/8inch traybake tin with baking parchment.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat together the egg, egg yolk and milk, then mix half this mixture in with the butter and sugar.
  • Beat in the rest of the egg mixture with a little of the flour and baking powder.
  • Fold in the remaining flour, then spoon the cake mix into your traybake tin.
  • To make the topping, whisk the egg white until you get stiff peaks, adding the sugar a spoonful at a time. Then fold in the coconut lightly.
  • Finally, spread the meringue mix over the cake base.
  • Bake at 350F/180C for 25-30 minutes.
  • Lift out of the tin and cool on a wire rack. Then cut into squares and enjoy.



  • Diane

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever had this tray bake, but I think I had something similar with a tangy layer of jam in between sometime – whether it was a NI thing or an Aussie “slice” I’m not sure! Love your blog btw, hard to beat some Ulster baking!

  • Sarah

    I’ve been making this for years but with a shortcake base and cherries in the coconut meringue topping. Foolproof quick easy and looks and tastes fabulous.