(St. Mary Magdalene Fingers)

Magdalenenstriezeln (St. Mary Magdalen Fingers)

July 22: Feast Day of St. Mary Magdalene

There is a mystery about St. Mary Magdalene—not from the fiction film and book, “The DaVinci Code” by Dan Brown, but from what her feast day food represents. Magdalenenstriezeln (St. Mary Magdalene Fingers) is a coffee cake cut into strips like “fingers.” In various artwork (paintings, statues and engravings) depicting the saint, her fingers are curiously crossed. Crossed fingers were a secret symbol used by the early Christians to identify each other when their religion was illegal. Now it has become a superstitious symbol for hoping for good luck. But it is not a mystery that this traditional German recipe is a good choice to make on the Feast Day of St. Mary Magdalene.


(Adapted from Cooking with the Saints by Ernst Schuegraf)


  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup almonds, blanched and slivered
  • ¼-½ cup coarse sugar (we used Sugar In The Raw brand)


Cream the butter with sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs. Mix in the sour cream. Gradually add the flour and blend well.

Magdalenenstriezeln (St. Mary Magdalen Fingers)

Spread the dough in a buttered 8×8-inch baking dish (the dough should be no more than an inch thick). Sprinkle the almonds and sugar on top of the dough.

Magdalenenstriezeln (St. Mary Magdalen Fingers)

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for about 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven. Cool for about five minutes. Cut into strips like “fingers” and serve “crossed” on top of each other.

Magdalenenstriezeln (St. Mary Magdalen Fingers)


  • Learn more about finger folklore from