Mom's Feather Squares

Saturday 18 December 2021

Mom's Feather Squares 

My mother was not a person who spoiled her children with goodies.  Occasionally she might bake us something special, but for the most part things such as baked goods, cakes, pies, cookies, etc. were kept for special occasions.

Mom went to work full time when I was 10 and so her time was limited in the kitchen. She was also not one to enjoy other people messing about in her kitchen. She was very particular about how things were kept and done, but then when you think about it, aren't we all  to a degree!

Mom's Feather Squares

Mom also had this great fear about her children being overweight.  She had been overweight as a child and didn't want this for us.  I wish now I had spoken to her more about it because I would like to know what it was that caused her to be so overly concerned for us.

Anyways, as a result the sweet stuff and goodies in our lives were always carefully controlled. On special occasions such as Christmas however, goodies were in abundance! 

Mom's Feather Squares 

And boy oh boy did we ever enjoy them. There was always a bowl of hard candy on the coffee table and some pastel fondants.  Candy canes, and mixed nuts and she would bake us a few goodies.

We could always count on War Cake, Aunt Orabelle's Date Squares, some Shortbread Cookies and these Feather Squares. 

Mom's Feather Squares 

We loved all of our treats, but I think, for myself anyways,  these Feather Squares were my absolute favorite of all the treats!  And no small wonder.

We are a family of jam lovers. If something has jam in it, we are in love with it.  The bars are wonderfully filled with raspberry jam.  Love. Love. Love. 

Mom's Feather Squares 

Mom always made these lush bars, with their buttery cake base, jam filling and meringue topping on Christmas Eve. I always felt she was saving the best for last.

Truth be told however, these are not keepers. They are not a bar you can make well ahead of time to enjoy. You basically need to bake these and consume them within a day or two if you are going to enjoy them at their optimum!  

Mom's Feather Squares 

If you are a plain cake lover and a lover of jam, then this is the bar for you!  They are light and delicate with just a hint of sweet jam in the centres.

That billowy meringue topping with the toasted coconut gracing it, is probably where they got the name of "Feather Squares."  The coconut ends up looking for all the world like goose down or feathers.  Very pretty.

Mom's Feather Squares

You needn't reserve these just for the holidays, they would be excellent served any time and I can see them gracing a tea table very nicely! 

They were a Christmas tradition in my home because that is the only time mom made them.  And so, out of tradition and love for her, and now, in her memory . . . it is also the only time we make them as well.

Mom's Feather Squares 


Nothing overly complicated.  I bet you have all of the ingredients in the kitchen cupboard and refrigerator now, with the exception of maybe the jam or the coconut, or both!

  • 4 TBS butter
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar (200g)
  • 2 TBS whole milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 TBS cornstarch (corn flour)
  • 1 cup flour (140g)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (4 heaped dessertspoons) raspberry jam
  • 1 cup (75g) flaked sweetened coconut

Mom's Feather Squares 


Basically I try to make sure all of my ingredients are at room temperature when I am baking, unless otherwise specified.  This just makes for better results.

If you run a fork through the jam it will loosen it enough for ease of spreading.

Sift the dry ingredients together so that any leavening gets evenly distributed through the flour.

Grease your pan really well, especially on the sides, and then dust with flour, shaking out any excess. Jam is known to stick.

For ease of removal from the pan, you can line the baking tin with a baking parchment sling that overhangs on at least two sides.  That way you can just lift the squares out.  This also makes for ease in cutting.

When cutting these squares, dip your knife in hot water in between cuts. This helps to prevent the meringue topping from sticking to the knife and then tearing as you cut.

Mom's Feather Squares 


You will begin by making the cake base.  Beat the butter and sugar together until well creamed, light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time.  Beating them in one at a time helps to prevent your cake batter from splitting.

Stir in the vanilla and then stir in the flour mixture, alternating additions with the milk.  Three dry, two wet.  Don't over mix, but do make sure everything is amalgamated and smooth. 

Mom's Feather Squares 

Spoon the cake batter into the prepared baking tin (8-inches square) and smooth the top over.  Bake for about 20 minutes in the center of the oven until golden brown and the top springs back when lightly touched. A toothpick inserted in the center should also come out clean.

While the cake base is baking, make the meringue. If your egg whites are at room temperature you will get more volume from them.

Beat them with an electric hand mixer until they become foamy and frothy. Only then do you begin to add the sugar, adding it a bit at a time.  This help to make sure the sugar melts into the egg whites and prevents your meringue from being granular.

Beat until you have a nice glossy mixture with stiff peaks that stand up when you lift the beaters out of the bowl.

Spread the jam over the cake base while it is hot. The jam will melt and spread much easier.  Top with the meringue, spreading it evenly over top. This is best done by making several dollops over the surface and then joining the dollops together.

Finally sprinkle on the coconut and return the pan to the oven until the meringue and coconut are toasty and golden brown.  Remove and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares with a wet knife.

Mom's Feather Squares

And that's it, Mom's Feather Squares. A traditional family treat and something which we all look forward to every year. A last minute, Christmas Eve indulgence.

You don't need to use raspberry jam. You can use whichever jam you prefer, even lemon curd if that's your wish. The raspberry jam does look especially festive however!

Happy Holidays!

Mom's Feather Squares

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1 comment

  1. These look so pretty. Thanks for listing the amounts with the ingredients. That helps me a lot. Someone is going to be very excited about winning your new bookbook. We got our tree in the house before the snow cometh today. Now we can decorate it. I think one of your Christmas packages was delivered yesterday. Hope the other two arrive soon. Love and hugs, Elaine


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