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

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

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 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

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 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

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

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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

Description

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


Ingredients

Dough

  • 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

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 pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  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 adds delicious richness and tang to this dough. If needed, you can use whole milk instead. (I usually use one or the other.) You can use lower fat or nondairy milk in a pinch, but the rolls won’t taste nearly as moist or rich.
  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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

167 Comments

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  1. I just wanted to let you know that your website is my go-to for any recipes. Instead of googling a recipe, I search your site! You have taught me how to make basic white bread, the BEST chocolate chip cookies, and now amazing cinnamon rolls! Thanks for helping me trick people into thinking that I’m a good baker 😀

  2. I’m 67 years old, worked almost all my life and because of this coronavirus nonsense, am unable to go to work! So I’m baking up a storm!!!! Just made my ver first cinnamon rolls ever! Just took my first bite… and as soon as I’m done with this comment, will continue with the rest. I am so glad to have found you on the web! Every recipe I’ve made, I got from you. Even made my very first edible pie crust thanks to you. Thank you so much for your blog and your recipes. A fan and follower, Patricia Castillo.

  3. Can you mix some heavy cream into 2% milk if you don’t have buttermilk to get the richness?

  4. Hi Sally – I made these yesterday and baked them today. I also had the issue of the bottoms and sides getting overcooked. I used a 9 x 13 glass pyrex pan and baked at 375. Next time I will drop the temperature to 350 or maybe even 325. I have 2 questions for you:
    1. Does the frosting freeze? I froze 6 of the rolls without frosting. I put the extra frosting in individual serving cups like restaurants use with the intent of freezing it as well. Then I can pull out a roll and a frosting at the same time. I did make a double batch of frosting (I like lots of frosting!)
    2. I’m guessing these would bake up as well in an 8in or 9in square pan. Then I can bake a few and freeze a few using the par-bake method. Which would be better 8 or 9in? I actually had 10 two inch rolls, so I cut the last two 1 inch thick and put them in a 6in square pan. It worked great for the extra dough.
    Thanks for another great recipe

    1. Hi Tracy! I’m happy to help. 1) Yes, you can freeze the rolls with the frosting or freeze/thaw the frosting separately, but it always tastes best fresh. 2) There are too many rolls (and they’re extra large, too!) for a smaller pan unless you halve the recipe. If you have extra dough or want to bake a portion of the rolls, you can use a smaller pan such as a 9-inch square pan.

  5. Wow! Made the base in my bread machine on the dough setting and it was a joy to work with! Bigger rolls are so much easier to work with and have a better bread/swirl ratio. They were so delish!

  6. I made these cinnamon rolls last week for my family during quarantine and they were amazing, everyone loved them. It was one of my first times working with yeast and so I was a little nervous but luckily this recipe was so easy to follow! They were fluffy, sweet (but not too sweet) and so tasty! Thanks for another great recipe Sally, I can’t wait to make them again!

    1. I’m so happy you are becoming more confident working with yeast! Thanks so much for your positive feedback, Veronica 🙂

  7. Hey! Mine rose to double in the fridge overnight. When that happens, should I still set them out them on the counter for 1.5 hours? I went ahead and did that so they’d come to room temp before baking. Hope they don’t fall!
    Thanks for the great recipe!

  8. Good morning and thank you for this recipe for these cinnamon buns. First time baking these and I must say as daunting as it seemed Initially, it was actually pretty easy and your directions were great. They are just coming out of the oven and the house smells like a bakery!!!!
    Baking during this pandemic is just plain fun and your buns made so much more so.
    Be safe.

  9. I made these cinnamon rolls yesterday, and they turned out the best I have ever made! Your suggestions really made a difference. As a seasoned baker, myself, I really appreciate your expertise. You are the one I always look to for some of my best recipes.
    Thank you! A dedicated follower, Marge

  10. I’ve made these cinnamon rolls a few times now and I always end up with a sour taste. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Hi Sarah, buttermilk has a tangy flavor so that could be it. Or the dough and/or shaped rolls could be rising for too long. When dough has been over-proofed, it can taste sour.

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