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

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

Breakfasts around here have been a little lackluster. Besides the occasional batch of muffins, it’s been nothing but smoothies, fruit, and/or Lara Bars. So the first Sunday our new kitchen was finished, 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 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

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

How to make big giant cinnamon rolls on

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

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

Above: before the rise.

Below: after the rise.

Currently: mouth watering.

How to make big giant cinnamon rolls on

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

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

Want something even… bigger? Here’s my giant cinnamon roll cake!


Big Giant Cinnamon Rolls

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes or overnight
  • Yield: 8 large rolls
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Good mornings are guaranteed with big giant cinnamon rolls. They’re almost double the size of your typical and covered with cream cheese frosting!



  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk*
  • 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


  • 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 pure vanilla extract


  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 9×13 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 10×16 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.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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 to lightly thaw. Then, finish baking them.
  2. Milk: Buttermilk or whole milk are preferred for richest tasting dough. 2% or 1% would be fine, but not ideal. Nonfat is not recommended.
  3. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

Keywords: giant cinnamon rolls

*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


  1. When I made these I had issues with the cinnamon sugar melting and burning at the bottom. They were delicious but got very burnt. I put tin foil on but it didn’t help. Thank you!

    1. Hi Nikki! You can try lowering the oven temperature to see if that helps. And I find glass pans are best for cinnamon rolls. Sorry you’re having trouble!

  2. Hi would having the dough rise with the butter filling in a warm
    Oven cause the filling to melt and drop out ? Step 4 and 5 .

  3. Hi Sally!

    I swear by these cinnamon rolls! I am traveling for Thanksgiving and wanted to bring them with me for a Thanksgiving breakfast! Any suggestions on how to deal with a 7 hour drive the previous day and baking the morning of? Or would it be better to make them a few days before fully baked and travel with them that way? Thank you!!!!

    1. Hi Katie! Best way is to bake them a few days before, then freeze them. They’ll thaw on the trip. Warm up in the oven on Thanksgiving morning. 🙂

  4. Hi I have been making your cinnamon rolls a lot recently. I normally skip the putting them in the fridge overnight part and let them rise for an hour before baking them. I melt my butter for the filling and let them rise on the counter. It’s pretty hot here like 80 ish degrees. But while they are cooking the filling melts out the bottom and carmelizes in the pan making the bottom of the cinnamon roll toffee like. Do you any idea why this is happening?

  5. Hi Sally. I’ve been making 30+ pans for friends/family to give at holiday time for the past 5 years. I decided to abandon the recipe I have used the whole time (by a certain “Woman” who lives on a ranch :-)) to try yours. Rave reviews!! One thing to consider modifying on the recipe please where you are kneading the dough with the dough hook attachment: ” Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and supple, about 6 minutes longer.” This medium-high speed sent my adored Kitchenaid flying off of the counter. Thankfully it was ok, as was my hardwood floor! Everything I have read about caring for my mixer says to never go over speed three while kneading with the hook or risk burning up the motor “regardless of what a food blogger says.” You are so great and we all trust you so much that we will do whatever your recipe calls for!! I have learned this lesson though for myself! Thank you!

  6. Wowza, followed instructions exactly and these were amazing! Fluffy, moist, rich, just GREAT! Just a note for anyone who makes these, to me, the foaming you get when proofing the yeast in buttermilk wasn’t as easy to see as when yeast is dissolved in water. I knew the yeast was fresh, so carried on and it worked perfectly. Thanks for another great recipe, and especially the detailed, easy-to-follow instructions that really set me up for success!

  7. This was a long process, but well worth the wait. I had whole milk and had to make butter milk with vinegar. My husband loved these rolls. I fell great and will make again.

    1. Yes you can. You can follow the cutting/shaping/baking directions for this recipe:

    1. Hi Heidi! I recommend making the full recipe. You can freeze the dough for another time or freeze the extra cinnamon rolls for another time.

  8. Did you use full fat buttermilk or lowfat? It’s hard, but possible, to find full fat if that is what you suggest.

    Thank you!

  9. Hi Sally! Would it be ok to double this recipe? I have a large family I’m preparing for! I have a standard kitchen aid mixer, would it be able to hold a double batch up dough? Thank you! Excited to try this!

    1. Hi Hannah! For the BEST results, I recommend making two separate batches of dough. You can double it, yes, but I find it’s much easier to work in batches one right after the other.

  10. Sally, I have a question. How do you keep your cinnamon rolls soft if they are not eaten right away? Mine tended to hardened up and that’s rather discouraging.

    1. Hi Terry! I wrap them tightly and refrigerate them, then I warm them in the microwave. They soften right back up!

      1. Thanks your your reply. Every year my husband has a ham radio contest outdoors with no microwave oven access. To preserve softness, maybe I should wrap the cinnamon rolls as you suggest and get up at a ridiculous hour and frost them just before he leaves?

  11. Sally, I have another question. Does yeast produce a lot of bubbles when sugar is added? I have thrown out a few sugar-yeast mixtures because I did not see lots of bubbles and therefor thought the yeast was bad. The yeast packages were not expired. I am careful to always look and I know not to get the milk too hot or the yeast will die. I have a thermometer to test.
    The same poor yeast bubbly appearance happened with my last batch, but I decided to just try it and see how the rolls would turn out. The whole mixture rose well when I put it in the oven on very low, but the rolls were only so-so. They did not rise well at all. Any advice? Thanks.

    1. Hi Terry! First, check out my Baking with Yeast Guide— this is a very helpful reference point if you are new to yeast or have some general questions. For the bubble stage– this is called proofing the yeast. It won’t be actively bubbling or anything. Rather, the mixture will look rather foamy on top.

  12. These look so delicious! Do you have any suggestions for someone that is allergic to dairy? Would almond milk + vinegar work for the buttermilk? Also, substitution for cream cheese in the icing?

    1. Hi Mary, For the buttermilk you can make your own using almond milk the same way with lemon juice or vinegar. For the frosting the easiest thing to do would be to make a glaze using your favorite non dairy milk and powdered sugar. I hope you enjoy them!

  13. I am in the process of making these. I just finished the filling step. I need them ready for 7am birthday breakfast for my two year old! Can I just leave out for the 6 hours in stead of the two or should I put them in fridge. Although this probably won’t get answered in time, I am interested to know! Can’t wait to try these puppies!

    1. Hi Lauren, You can stick in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours at that point. Then see step 5 for how to continue from there! Enjoy!

  14. Hi there! Love everything I’ve tried from your site so far. Looking for a good cinnamon roll recipe and I noticed this dough is almost the same as your overnight cinnamon roll dough, with the difference of using buttermilk in this recipe instead of whole milk. Curious as to which one you feel yielded a better final result? I would imagine the buttermilk may produce a softer, more tender roll… Thanks!

    1. Tough cinnamon rolls can be the result of too much flour. It’s also possible to over-kneed your dough if you are using a mixer for this step. If the dough was difficult to shape and you think it tore easily then it’s likely it was over-worked.

  15. My cinnamon rolls literally exploded!! They’re even bigger than my hand. Imagine that!
    My dough looks a little bit different to yours, but I think that’s okay?
    I activated dry yeast in water before I put it in the buttermilk. Did not read the recipe correctly… Is that wrong?
    Btw, I looove them!

    1. Hi McKayla! I haven’t tested this recipe with a gluten free flour substitute, so I can’t say for sure. Let me know if you try it!

      1. Hey! Just making sure I have the right yeast as this is my first time working with it. I have a packet of red start quick rise instant dry yeast. Will that work?

  16. Hi Sally!
    I am making these for Christmas morning this year but I am busy the night before. Im thinking of following your “make-ahead” instructions and freezing them but I am wondering if it affects the flavor at all? Would it be possible to bake it for the 10 minutes and just refrigerate them overnight instead of freeze them?

  17. I have never made cinnamon rolls before and was quite nervous about making them for Christmas morning. They came out so well and my family thought they were delicious! I really enjoyed making this recipe!

  18. LOVE! Made for my hubby for his birthday breakfast today. This was my first time working with yeast and I think I over baked by a few minutes (I thought they weren’t done after the 30min so threw in another 7 or so minutes when they probably only needed half that). But otherwise they turned out great! Definitely time consuming and scary! Haha. I’m hoping the more I make them the less scared I’ll be of yeast Love everything I’ve made of yours so far Cake pops, muffins, etc! And now these! Thank you

  19. Hi Sally! Does this use instant yeast or active dry yeast? The recipe said active dry but a commenter said they used instant. Thank you!!

  20. I’ve never made anything with yeast before but I got a stand mixer for Christmas so I decided to try this recipe. It was a huge success!!!

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