Good mornings are guaranteed with a warm pan of these absolutely giant cinnamon rolls. This recipe uses almost the same dough as my classic overnight cinnamon rolls, but the rolls are extra large, extra fluffy—and extra delicious! They can be made ahead of time, too, so your morning will be as easy as it is sweet. Your kitchen will smell amazing while they bake, luring even the sleepiest of sleepyheads to the breakfast table. (And that’s a fact.)
You know those oversized cinnamon rolls from bakeries, Cinnabon, and coffee shops? They’re nearly the size of your plate and maybe a little too indulgent, but who doesn’t love an extra special breakfast? I originally published this recipe in 2016, and I’m bringing it back from the archives today with new photos. The recipe hasn’t changed at all, so if you’re in the mood for an extra large, extra soft, extra over-the-top cinnamon roll, read why readers have been loving these:
“I made these cinnamon rolls last week for my family 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!” – Veronica
“I LOVE making cinnamon rolls now because of this recipe. I’ve made many recipes in the past and have never been satisfied with the results. But Sally’s Giant Cinnamon Roll recipe has people begging me to make these (and the Raspberry Swirl Rolls) all the time now. Thank you for making me love homemade rolls more than a bakery or even Cinnabon!” – Chris
These Big Giant Cinnamon Rolls Are:
- Soft, tender, and buttery
- Packed with cinnamon-sugar-spiced scrumptiousness
- Generously slathered with cream cheese frosting
- A wonderful make-ahead recipe
- Perfect for weekend brunches or any morning occasion where you need something special
- Huge! Cinnabon size! About 3x bigger than my easy cinnamon rolls
Let’s Use My Favorite Soft Cinnamon Roll Dough
If you’ve made any of my cinnamon roll recipes before, this dough recipe will seem pretty familiar. I started with my standard sweet dough recipe that I use to make overnight cinnamon rolls, apple cinnamon rolls, and maple cinnamon rolls. It’s a rich dough, which uses butter fat to create a softer and more dessert-like bread dough. A few notable differences, though:
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk is a prime ingredient in many of my baking recipes including biscuits and vanilla cake, so I tried it in this dough. I usually use whole milk, but buttermilk makes the texture even richer and also gives the baked rolls a delicious (and very slight) tang. The buttermilk really takes these cinnamon rolls to the next level!
- Larger Rolls: I cut the rolls about 1.5x larger than I typically do. Usually this amount of dough makes 12 cinnamon rolls, but this time we’re making 8.
- Double the Yeast: We use more yeast in this recipe than in my easy cinnamon rolls. Why? Today’s big giant cinnamon rolls are much fluffier and larger—about 3x the size. After a couple hours rising, these rolls are massive and take up an entire plate. (Are you drooling yet?!)
Yeast Beginners: Use This Helpful Guide
Are you new to baking with yeast? If so, reference my Baking with Yeast Guide because I include practical answers to many common baker’s yeast questions. If you want something more, get on the fast track to baking bread like a pro with my free Beginner’s Guide to Yeast email series. 🙂
Step-by-Step Photos: How to Make Big Giant Cinnamon Rolls
Pictured above: Expect a soft and slightly sticky dough as you knead it.
Below left: This is the dough after the 1st rise. It really grows! Below right: Punch down the risen dough and get ready to roll it out and fill it.
Borrowing the following photo from overnight cinnamon rolls. Your big giant cinnamon rolls will look exactly the same as you roll up the dough with the cinnamon sugar filling inside, only you’re cutting the log into 8 cinnamon rolls instead of 12.
Now it’s time for the 2nd rise. After you cut all 8 rolls, place them in your greased quarter sheet pan and let them rise for about 1 hour. See how much they puff up?
FAQ About Big Giant Cinnamon Rolls
- Can I Use Nondairy Milk? Yes, many readers have successfully substituted nondairy milks in this dough. And in a pinch, you can use 2% or 1% milk, but do not use nonfat milk.
- What If I Don’t Have a Stand Mixer? I use a stand mixer for this dough, but if you do not own a stand mixer, you can mix the dough together with a large wooden spoon/rubber spatula. It will take a bit of arm muscle. A hand mixer works, but the sticky dough repeatedly gets stuck in the beaters. Mixing by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula is a better choice.
- What’s the Best Pan to Use? You need a 9×13 inch (quarter sheet) pan for this recipe. I usually use a glass 9×13-inch baking pan because I find it heats the XXL rolls more evenly than a metal pan. If metal is all you have, that’s fine, just keep a close eye on the rolls towards the end of bake time.
- Can I Switch Frostings? I top these giant cinnamon rolls with buttery cream cheese icing. If you’d like to swap toppings, try the maple icing from my maple cinnamon rolls or the vanilla icing from my easy cinnamon rolls recipe.
- Can These Rise Overnight? Yes! There are detailed overnight instructions in the recipe below.
More Indulgent Breakfast Recipes
- Maple Bacon Doughnuts
- Monkey Bread
- Maple Pecan Sticky Buns
- Homemade Breakfast Pastries
- Dark Chocolate Raspberry Coffee Cake
- No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls
Want something even… bigger? Here’s my giant cinnamon roll cake.Print
Big Giant Cinnamon Rolls
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 5 hours (includes rise times)
- 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 (563g) 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
- 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 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 5 minutes longer. *If you do not have a stand-mixer with a hook attachment, knead the dough by hand in this step.
- 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. Loosely cover the dough and allow it to rise in a relatively warm, draft-free environment for 1-2 hours or until double in size. (Tip: Rising at room temperature is usually fine, but on a particularly cold day, heat your oven to 150°F (66°C). Turn the oven off, place the dough inside, and keep the door slightly ajar. This will be a warm environment for your dough to rise. After about 30 minutes, close the oven door to trap the air inside with the rising dough. When it’s doubled in size, remove from the oven.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- After the rolls have risen, preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C). Bake for about 25 minutes or until they are golden brown on top. About halfway through the bake time, I like to cover the rolls loosely with aluminum foil so the tops don’t over-brown before the centers can cook. Remove pan from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes as you make the frosting.
- 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 & 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.
- 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.
- Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
Keywords: giant cinnamon rolls
Reader Comments & Reviews
Amazing recipe! I made them overnight-style to bring to work fresh in the morning on a Saturday — I’m now coworker of the month I’m also 25 weeks pregnant and have been craving cinnamon rolls for weeks, and these ones hit the spot. I will definitely be making these again!
I used old old apples lol and canned lowfat milk everything else was the same but i didnt use the full sugar cinnamon mix cause i was afraid it would be too much boy was i wrong i proofed the dough then over night in fridge then again in am in slightly warm oven for two hours and they baked up like heaven i mean AMAZING but the sugar i didnt put in is sorely missed! My fault cant wait to make again! Truly super recipe and instructions thank you so much!
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!!!
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!!
Either works– same amount! If using instant yeast, the rise time is slightly quicker.
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
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!
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?
Hi Adelyn! You can par-bake the rolls then refrigerate overnight before continuing to bake the next morning.
Can I sub 1:1 gluten free allpurpose flour? I have King Arthur brand. Thanks
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!
Hi Sally, for this recipe can you substitute the all purpose flour for white whole wheat flour?
Definitely. Same amount.
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!
Yes, these are HUGE! Haha! If they turned out well then you didn’t do anything wrong 🙂
I tried this recipe for the first time but mine turned out a bit tough. What do you think I’ve done wrong?
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.
Hey sally, can raisins and nuts be added for the filling or is that just over the top? Thanks
Yes, absolutely! I love adding raisins to cinnamon roll filling. I recommend about 1 cup total– half nuts, half raisins.
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!
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!
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
Hi Terry! I wrap them tightly and refrigerate them, then I warm them in the microwave. They soften right back up!
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!
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.
I’d like to try this recipe but can I make these rolls smaller? Would bake time be different?
Yes you can. You can follow the cutting/shaping/baking directions for this recipe: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/overnight-cinnamon-rolls/
I am not intimidated by ‘ yeast’ anymore. Thanks Sally !! They were georgeous !! We live in Singapore and it is always 80 and humid. So I used only 3/4th of the yeast prescribed by you. In the past when I have used the whole quantity, the bread has swelled up in 10 minutes and it has been a disaster!! Not this time !! They were a little smaller than yours but beautiful nonetheless !!
Now this girl will try out every single bread on your site !!
Hey Sally! Have you ever used brown sugar instead of regular sugar in the filling?
I have, yes! It’s wonderful! Use the same amount 🙂
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.
Look amazing! Would these work in a bread machine?
I can’t see why not!
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!
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 🙂
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!
Stacy, how about lowering the oven temperature by 25 degrees F. Are you baking in a convection oven?
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!
These are awesome! I made these yesterday afternoon/evening. My house smelled amazing and they taste heavenly!
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!