top of page

July 8


Saint of the day:

Saint Sunniva

Patron Saint of Bergen, Norway

Irish princess and Martyr of Purity, who chose exile on the Norwegian island of Selja over marrying a heathen viking.

Saint Sunniva's Story

Saint Sunniva  was born in the tenth century and is the patron saint of the Norwegian Diocese of Bjørgvin, as well as all of Western Norway.

She was the heir of an Irish kingdom, but had to escape with her brother and others when a pagan king, who wanted to marry her, invaded. She and her companions became shipwrecked off the coast of Norway, but eventually landed on Silje Island where they took refuge in a cave. The local people suspected them of stealing their sheep and demanded that they be arrested. Sunniva prayed to God that they should not fall into the hands of the heathens, upon which rocks fell down blocking the entrance to the cave.

Sunniva and her companions died in the cave, but in the years to come miracles were reported on the island. When King Olaf Tryggvason excavated the cave in 996, the body of Sunniva was found intact. Later, a monastery, Selje Abbey, was built on the site, the ruins of which can still be seen.

During the fires in Bergen in 1170-71 and in 1198. Sunniva’s remains were taken from the monastery and placed near the flames. This action halted the advance of the fire and was hailed as a miracle.




Marias opptakelse i himmelen.jpg



Statue of Saint Sunniva at the harbour of Selje

Saint Sunniva's shrine was demolished during the Reformation (1530's)

There is an exhibition dedicated to Sunniva in Bergen Museum, under the title of "St. Sunniva and the holy shrine" 





Norsk Kanelboller (Norwegian Cinnamon Bun)

  • 17 oz cold whole milk

  • 2 oz fresh yeast

  • 1 egg

  • 35 oz AP flour

  • 5 oz sugar

  • 1.5 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp ground cardamom

  • 5 oz cold butter

  • 7 oz butter

  • 7 oz sugar

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

  • 1 egg

  • sugar

  1. Pour the cold milk into a bowl and stir the yeast into it. Add the eggs, flour, sugar, salt and cardamom and knead the dough in a mixer until it is smooth and shiny and lets go of the sides of the bowl. This takes about 8 minutes at a medium speed.

  2. Finely dice the butter, add it to the dough, and knead for another 8 minutes until the dough is quite smooth (the long kneading
    times are essential for a good result).

  3. Cover the dough with a cloth and leave to proof for 90 minutes in a warm place.

  4. Now, beat the dough into a firm piece, wrap in cling film, and leave to cool in the fridge for at least an hour.

  1. While the dough is resting, mix the ingredients for the filling to a uniform mixture.

  2. Folding and shaping
  3. Sprinkle flour onto a table, and roll out the dough to a rectangle of about 30 x 60 cm. Smear the filling evenly out onto the dough.

  4. Fold a third of the dough to the middle. Then fold the other third over the first section. You now have three layers.

  5. Roll out the dough to a rectangle of 30 x 30 cm, and cut it into 12 strips of 30 cm. Curl each strip by twisting the ends in opposite directions 6-7 times. Make sure not to squeeze out the filling.

  6. Now, wrap the dough twice around your index and middlefinger. Fold the end of the dough over the two folds and place it between your index and middle finger. Pull you fingers away, so the tip of the dough-strip fastens inside the roll.

  7. Set the swirls on baking trays covered with baking paper. Cover with a cloth and leave the swirls to rise in a warm place, until they have doubled in size.

  1. Baste the swirls with beaten egg and sprinkle with a little sugar.

  2. Bake at 200° Celcius for approx. 12–14 minutes. Leave to cool before eating.

bottom of page