Big Giant Cinnamon Rolls

Learn how to make big giant cinnamon rolls-- almost double the size of your typical and covered with cream cheese frosting! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Happy new week to you! How was your weekend? Delicious? We had a wonderful time at my friend’s wedding. We had a beautiful beach day, lots of friends around, the food was incredible (crab cakes!!), red velvet cake and banana cupcakes for dessert, and the couple even had a rainbow* appear right before their ceremony. It was one of those picture perfect summer weekends you just didn’t want to end.

So I figure we should extend those weekend vibes into the week and the only way we can TRULY do that is with big fat cinnamon rolls. Extra large, heavy on the gooey cinnamon part, and generous with the cream cheese frosting. Helps make reality a little more manageable when all you want to do is forget your inbox and head straight back to the beach.

Learn how to make big giant cinnamon rolls-- almost double the size of your typical and covered with cream cheese frosting! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

It all started with a giant craving last weekend. Breakfasts around here this summer have been a little lackluster. Besides the occasional batch of muffins, it’s been nothing but smoothies, fruit, and/or Lara Bars (lemon is my fave!). Before our new kitchen was usable, I was only cooking/baking as much as I absolutely had to in the basement kitchen. So it was quite rare I’d make our usual big Sunday brunch. Rare meaning, it never happened. We missed it. So the first Sunday the new appliances were working, I put it to test. The new kitchen was christened with big giant cinnamon rolls!!

The dough recipe is pretty familiar. It’s my standard cinnamon roll dough that I use to make overnight cinnamon rolls. And, as of last year, how I make maple cinnamon rolls. A few notable differences though– first, I used buttermilk instead of whole milk. This only slightly changed the texture to be even more rich, but also gave the dough a delicious (and very slight) tang. Buttermilk cinnamon rolls are completely unreal. Then, I cut the rolls to be even larger than I typically do. Cinnabon was on my mind and after a couple hours rising, I had massive cinnamon rolls that took up the entire plate. Though it’s pretty much the same dough recipe, I figured these XXXXL cinnamon rolls needed their own spot on Sally’s Baking Addiction.

How to make big giant cinnamon rolls on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make big giant cinnamon rolls on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The beauty with this dough is that it can be an overnight recipe or you can begin the cinnamon rolls in the early morning to enjoy later on. Overnight is my usual choice, but I didn’t do a very good job planning ahead. And sometimes cinnamon roll cravings hit when you’re totally unprepared. Like when you’re shopping for a new bathing suit at the mall and Cinnabon is right outside the store. Kind of evil, isn’t it?

There are two dough rises. Once the dough is prepared, allow it to rise until doubled in size. This will be the first rise. Once risen, roll the dough out and fill with a combination of softened butter, granulated sugar, and cinnamon. Basically life’s best ingredients. Delicious separate, but even better together. Then roll the dough up, cut into giant pieces, and allow to rise for the second time. The second rise can be overnight or in the morning, just make sure the rolls are covered and placed in the refrigerator if using the overnight option.

Learn how to make big giant cinnamon rolls-- almost double the size of your typical and covered with cream cheese frosting! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

But actually real quick, let me explain how large these are. Usually this amount of dough makes 12 rolls. Today it’s only making 8. So not only are the rolls bigger, they’re pretty fat too. (I feel like the only appropriate words to describe the best cinnamon rolls are big and fat.)

How to make big giant cinnamon rolls on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Above: before the rise.

Below: after the rise.

Currently: mouth watering.

How to make big giant cinnamon rolls on sallysbakingaddiction.com

After you bake the big giant cinnamon rolls, you’ll wonder why you waited all summer to make big giant cinnamon rolls. Scratch that, the feeling will come when you smell the cinnamon rolls baking. And linger as you swipe cream cheese frosting on each one and hang around until after you take that last big giant bite. This is awesome, my kitchen smells like Cinnabon. And I didn’t even have to leave the house to get there!

After we devoured 1 cinnamon roll each because they are absolutely the size of your head, we sunk into the couch (with the dishwasher running YES!) and watched 3 hours of Netflix before playing with the dogs outside. Now that’s the weekend!

Learn how to make big giant cinnamon rolls-- almost double the size of your typical and covered with cream cheese frosting! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Learn how to make big giant cinnamon rolls-- almost double the size of your typical and covered with cream cheese frosting! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Big Giant Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk1
  • 2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons (14g) active dry yeast (2 standard size packets)
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 and 1/2 cups (558g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for dusting/rolling

Filling

  • 6 Tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 ounces (about 1/4 cup or 56g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (150g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Make the dough: In a small saucepan, warm the milk over low heat until lukewarm-- no need to use a thermometer, but to be precise: about 95°F (35°C). Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment (OR you can use a handheld mixer OR no mixer, but a stand mixer is ideal). With a spoon, manually stir in the sugar and yeast. Cover with a towel and let sit until the yeast is foamy, about 5-10 minutes. This is called proofing your yeast. If the yeast does not dissolve and foam, start over with fresh active yeast. On low speed, beat in the softened butter until it is slightly broken up. Next add the eggs, one at a time, and then the salt. The butter won't really be mixing into the mixture, so don't be alarmed if it stays in pieces. On low speed, gradually add the flour. Once it is all added, beat on medium speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and supple, about 6 minutes longer. *If you do not have a stand-mixer with a hook attachment, knead the dough by hand in this step.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for 1 minute. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap, a paper towel, or aluminum foil and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1.5 - 2 hours. Here's what I do: turn the oven on to 250°F (121°C). Turn the oven off. Stick the covered dough inside the oven and allow it to rise in this warm environment.
  3. Butter/grease/spray with nonstick spray the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish, then line with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using a rolling pin, roll into a 10x16 inch rectangle. Make sure the dough is smooth and evenly thick, even at the corners.
  4. For the filling: Spread the softened butter all over the dough. In a small bowl, toss the cinnamon and sugar together until combined and then sprinkle evenly over the dough. Tightly roll up the dough to form a 16 inch long log. If some filling spills out, that's ok just sprinkle it on top of the rolls. Cut into 8 large rolls (about 2 inches in width each). Arrange them in the prepared baking pan. Cover the rolls very tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap (no rolls exposed, this dries out your dough!) and allow to rise until the rolls are doubled in size, about 2 hours. OR stick in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours.
  5. If the rolls rose overnight in the fridge, remove rolls from the refrigerator and let rise in a warm place just as you did in step 2 until they are puffy, about 1-2 hours. Mine usually take 1 and 1/2 hours.
  6. After the rolls have risen, preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C). Bake for about 25 minutes, until they are golden brown. About halfway through the bake time, I like to cover the rolls loosely with aluminum foil so the tops don't brown too much. Remove pan from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes as you make the frosting.
  7. Make the frosting: In a medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. Using a knife, spread the frosting over the warm rolls and serve immediately. Cover leftover frosted or unfrosted rolls tightly and store at room temperature for 3 days or refrigerator for 5 days.

Make ahead tip: Baked rolls can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up before enjoying. You can also freeze the unbaked rolls and here's how: let the rolls rise overnight through step 4, then the next morning do step 5. Then, bake the rolls for only about 10 minutes at 375°F (191°C). Cool completely, then cover tightly and freeze. Take the rolls out of the freezer and put into the refrigerator a few hours before serving. Then, finish baking them.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Buttermilk or whole milk are preferred for richest tasting dough. 2% or 1% would be fine, but not ideal. Nonfat is not recommended.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

*Seriously how rare to have a rainbow on your wedding day! 🙂

Try my maple cinnamon rolls next!

maple cinnamon rolls sallys baking addiction

Learn how to make big giant cinnamon rolls-- almost double the size of your typical and covered with cream cheese frosting! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

85 comments

  1. I made these yesterday afternoon and they are incredibly delicious.  it will replace a long-standing tried and true recipe going forward.  Buttermilk definitely made this recipe much more ‘everything’.   Thanks!   
    By-the-way, I also made your snickerdoodles which were so good.  My granddaughter just says ‘yum’ as she eats them walking around the house.  She is 4 and a cookie expert already.  I totally enjoy seeing your blog in my email box. 

    • Thanks so much Colleen! Happy you liked these cinnamon rolls– and that the snickerdoodles got a stamp of approval too! So cute. 🙂

  2. These are awesome! I made these yesterday afternoon/evening. My house smelled amazing and they taste heavenly!

  3. These cinnamon rolls are absolutely everything my weekend needs!

  4. Hello Sally , I want to ask you , why 2 packets of yeast. Isn’t this too much or its ok , because I usually use only one for that amout of flour , thank you

  5. I made these today, I ended up with 10 giant rolls, frosting was out of this world. Love, love them!! Thanks Sally, I love your site, looking forward to more delicious recipes!

  6. This looks so so yummy! Would it work if it was made with oil instead of butter?

  7. My yeast always seems to be clumpy after I mix it. Can I use a wisk? Any tips? Thanks!

    • I would simply whisk it. Though there can be some clumps when it’s just the yeast, milk, and sugar. It will all dissolve and mix in when the other ingredients are added.

  8. Can I use whole milk? If I don’t have buttermilk on hand 

  9. Hi Sally!  I have a question for you.  I make cinnamon rolls all the time, but any time I have tried to do the two-step method (refrigerating the cut & filled rolls overnight, rising & baking I in the am) the dough seems to collect moisture overnight and drips onto the rolls,  So, I end up having “wet” rolls before the rise time.  How do you not have this problem w/ moisture when you do this?  And I did make this buttermilk based recipe (but filled w/a different filling) and they turned out extremely delicious!!!!  At this point, it will be my “go to” cinnamon roll dough!!!  Thanks for your help!

    • Interesting. Do you cover the rolls nice and tight with plastic wrap when they sit in the fridge? Do the final baked rolls taste too moist?

      • Yes to the first question. As I remember, I would try to blot off the excess moisture.  I basically have quit trying to make them this way (because of the moisture problem) and make & bake the same day.  Just wondered if you had ever had the same problem! Sometimes it’s just nice to mix up in the afternoon & bake the next morning. I don’t remember them being too moist. Guess I will just have to try it again! Thank you Sally for your response & all your great recipes!!!

  10. Mmmmmm…..yum. This looks totally amazing. I’m just starring at the screen looking at how delicious they look.
    My mouth is watering.

  11. I baked my cinnamon rolls for the 25 minutes and covered them with foil at the 15 minute mark. The bottoms were semi burnt and the the sides as well. Inside of them were perfect! Any suggestions on the outside? Thank you! 

  12. Planning on making these, Sally! I have either double cream greek yoghurt or whole cream milk or even milk + vinegar as options. Which one shall I use?

    Annemieke

  13. Oh my gosh this looks so good! I am over here drooling over this dish right now. I am all over this. I can’t even stop starring.

  14. Hi Sally! I cannot wait to make these with my new mixer. Question. When you bake them do you bake them in the pyrex looking dish you posted the photos of them in? Or what should I bake them in? Also when you “warm the dough” you said you turn your over on to 250. Do you wait until it preheats to 250 then turn it off then immediately put the dough in? Do you close the door of the oven?

    • Hi Natalie! Great questions. You can bake these in pretty much any appropriately sized baking pan, but I reach for my 9×13 pyrex. About the oven trick– I heat the oven to 250, then once it reaches 250, I turn it off. Put the rolls in, close the door (or leave it very slightly ajar– either works).

  15. Hello Sally! Where did you get those beautiful white plates? Super cute for any dessert!!

  16. Hey Sally,

    I’ve been a huge fan of your site for the past 4+ years! Thank you so much for sharing your baking/candy-making/cooking expertise on such a cheerful medium.  I made these cinnamon rolls for my pup’s “doggy daycare” employees today (she’s an 8 month old golden retriever-I too love dogs and peanut butter!!) and am so excited to share these with them 🙂

  17. Hi Sally! Just made a batch of the molasses white chocolate chips cookies, they were a hit last year and requested for Christmas this year! So yummy!!! I want to make these cinnamon rolls for brunch, all I have in my freezer is the highly active instant rise yeast. Can I use this? 

  18. Hi Sally,
    Love your recipes! I’m in Belfast, and I can only find easy/quick yeast – nowhere seems to sell active dry yeast. Do you think it would still work if I added the quick yeast with the flour? It says on the instructions to add the quick yeast to dry ingredients, rather than wet ingredients. Any pearls of wisdom would be much appreciated, as I’m supposed to be making these tomorrow!! Thanks so much 🙂

  19. Just love these kind of recipes – simple, light, fast and delicious. Can’t wait to try this. Thanks!

  20. I made these the other day and they were amazing! I love your step by step instructions and pictures,  it makes the recipe so easy to follow and understand. You’ve also helped me conquer my fear of yeast! I started out with your easy cinnamon rolls and have now made most of the sweet rolls on this blog. Thanks very much for all of your recipes, my husband, children and I sure do love them!

  21. Look amazing!  Would these work in a bread machine?

  22. I made your recipe. The crust was so soft and wonderful to work with. You weren’t exaggerating when you said Big Giant Cinnamon Rolls! It is a perfect recipe – I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, maybe add some nuts next time. 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

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