Big Giant Cinnamon Rolls

Good mornings are guaranteed with giant cinnamon rolls. These are almost double the size of my classic cinnamon rolls and covered with cream cheese frosting! To make these ahead of time, follow my overnight instructions below.

giant cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing

After you bake a batch of today’s giant cinnamon rolls, you’ll wish all cinnamon rolls were this big. They’re buttery, sweet, cinnamon-spiced, covered with cream cheese frosting, and everything we love about classic cinnamon rolls— supersized! Your kitchen will smell amazing while they bake and you’ll fall in love at first bite. Meet your new weekend breakfast tradition!

giant cinnamon roll with cream cheese icing on a white plate with a fork

Why You’ll Love These Big Giant Cinnamon Rolls

  • Big and giant!
  • Made entirely from scratch
  • Soft, tender, and buttery
  • Cinnamon-spiced
  • Generously topped with cream cheese frosting
  • A wonderful make ahead recipe
  • Perfect for weekend brunches
  • Always a crowd pleaser

disc of cinnamon roll dough with a wood rolling pin

This Is My Favorite Soft Cinnamon Roll Dough

This cinnamon roll dough recipe is pretty familiar. We’re using my standard cinnamon roll dough that I use to make overnight cinnamon rolls and maple cinnamon rolls. It’s a rich dough, requiring fat which creates a softer and more dessert-like bread. A few notable differences though:

  • Buttermilk: I used buttermilk instead of whole milk. This made the texture even more rich, and also gave the dough a delicious (and very slight) tang. Buttermilk cinnamon rolls are unreal!
  • Larger Rolls: I cut the rolls to be even larger than I typically do. 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. After a couple hours rising, these cinnamon rolls are massive and take up an entire plate.

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.

cinnamon roll dough rolled into a rectangle with cinnamon sugar filling

Overview: How to Make Giant Cinnamon Rolls

You’ll find the full recipe below, but let’s walk through the general process.

  1. Make the dough. You need pretty basic ingredients– buttermilk, sugar, yeast, butter, eggs, salt, and flour. Warm the milk and combine it with the sugar and yeast. Add the softened butter then the eggs. Next add the salt and flour. At this point, your dough is ready to knead– you can do this using the mixer or by hand.
  2. Knead and shape the dough. Turn the dough onto the counter and knead it for one more 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.
  3. 1st rise. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about 1.5-2 hours.
  4. Roll into a rectangle. Once risen, roll the dough out into a 10×16 inch rectangle. Top the dough with a combination of softened butter, granulated sugar, and cinnamon.
  5. Cut into rolls. Tightly roll up the dough to form a 16 inch long log. Cut into 8 large rolls (about 2 inches in width each). Arrange them in a prepared 9×13 inch baking pan.
  6. 2nd rise. Cover the rolls very tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap (any exposed sections will dry out) and allow the rolls to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. *This step is when you can turn these into overnight cinnamon rolls. See below for overnight instructions.
  7. Bake. These rolls take about 25 minutes to bake, or until 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.
  8. Make the frosting. While the rolls cool, make the cream cheese frosting.
  9. Frost and serve! Spread the frosting over the warm rolls and enjoy. Instead of cream cheese frosting, you can try the maple icing from my maple cinnamon rolls. A personal favorite.

overhead image of cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish covered in plastic wrap before baking

Overnight or Same Day

The beauty with this recipe is that you can make these cinnamon rolls ahead of time and refrigerate them overnight or begin the cinnamon rolls early in the morning to enjoy later on. Overnight is my usual choice!

Overnight Instructions: After cutting the rolls and placing them into your prepared baking pan, cover them very tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. (Any dough directly exposed to cold air may dry out, creating a dry and crumbly dough for your cinnamon rolls.) Skip the second rise at this time and place the pan of rolls in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours. The next morning, remove the baking pan from the refrigerator and allow the rolls to rise (the second rise) in a warm environment until doubled in size. Continue with baking and frosting.

Same Day Instructions: After cutting the rolls and placing them into your prepared baking pan, cover them very tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise (second rise) in a warm environment until doubled in size. Continue with baking and frosting.

cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish before baking

Above: before the rise.

Below: after the rise.

cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish before baking

spreading cream cheese icing onto giant cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish

More Indulgent Breakfast Recipes

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

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giant cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing

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 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.
  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. 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.)
  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

197 Comments

  1. These look delicious, Sally, but I’m really disappointed that you squandered the opportunity for a “I like big buns and I cannot lie.” joke. 😉

    1. HOW DID YOU KNOW! I desperately wanted to add that but thought maybe some people would be offended. But… you know me too well. I cannot lie.

  2. I want to try these! I’m just a little scared since last time I tried making cinnamon rolls, they tasted yeasty 🙁 I thought it was funny you both at one and had six left over! Can see that happening in my life in a few months when I’m a newlywed and there’s just two of us… And 8 mega cinnamon rolls xD can I freeze half? Haha!

    1. Sometimes they can taste yeast-y if the rolls rose for too long. You can certainly freeze half of these. That’s what I did! Freezing instructions are in the recipe notes 🙂

  3. These look INSANE. Oh my gosh, that frosting, that dough, that filling. I love everything about cinnamon rolls and these instantly reminded me of Cinnabon! And thank you for not skimping on the cream cheese frosting 😉

    1. Thanks Kathryn!!

  4. Johanna Xue says:

    I need to make these RIGHT NOW….or go and eat another slice of tiramisu that’s in the fridge, because these photos made me so hungry! Oh yeah, but I’ll definitely make these cinnamon buns someday.

    1. LOVE tiramisu!

  5. I love when you take recipes to GIANT! Your jumbo muffins are absolutely my go-to recipe for muffins (hope you create a corn one soon!) I love your XL cookies too! We love cinnamon buns at my house, so I’ll have to try this one soon. Thanks.

    1. Oh man I haven’t made an XL cookie in awhile! Thanks for reminding me 🙂

  6. This look so amazing!! Will definitely be adding this to my “must make” list. A question totally unrelated to the recipe itself….those beautiful little white plates in the last photo. Would you mind sharing where those are from? I love them!

    1. Thanks Kelly! They are from Pier 1 🙂

  7. These look amazing! There’s something about homemade dough!! How they puff up, the smell. 🙂 Have you heard of the Japanese technique tangzhong? I just read about it over the summer in Cook’s Illustrated. When I was on vacation I made the best sticky buns I’ve ever had from their May issue. Here’s the link if you’re interested: https://www.cooksillustrated.com/articles/206-perfect-sticky-buns Thanks for all of your beautiful posts! I look forward to them!

  8. Hi Sally! I just wanted to tell you thank you for all of your fantastic recipes! I have made quite a few of them (and some, like the blueberry muffin cake, multiple times) over the last month. I am a big exerciser and eat healthy 90% of the time, but I herniated a disk in my back and was on strict bed rest and in lots of pain. Reading your blog and BAKING! was my salvation. I ended up gaining 5 pounds in a month, but no regrets. I loved every minute of it (at least the baking and eating part!)! Many thanks to you!

    1. Oh you poor thing! I hope recovery is going well. I do think that baking is the best medicine. 🙂

  9. Heather @Boston Girl Bakes says:

    Oh yum! Nothing wrong with XXXXL cinnamon rolls in my book!

  10. Demeter | Beaming Baker says:

    Yep, this is definitely gonna make Monday SO much better! 🙂 Also, the rainbow: I love it. I simply love it. What more could you ask for at a wedding? <3
    Since I moved from San Diego to Maine (not coastal), I've seriously missed the beach… so the second I saw your comment about going back… i just longed for it so much!
    It's wonderful that you christened your new kitchen with these XXXXXXL cinnamon rolls. I still remember your post from ages ago convincing us all that it was actually pretty easy to make cinnamon rolls! 🙂 You always make baking so much less daunting Sally. Thank you for that. Happy Monday! xo P.S. That Kevin & Sally Xmas ornament is the cutest. <3

    1. It IS easy!! And I can’t even imagine how much you miss the beach. 🙁

  11. Patricia @Sweet and Strong says:

    Ah I was so excited when I saw this on Instagram last night.  I always forget about cinnamon rolls and am DEFINITELY making these this upcoming weekend as I haven’t really done a sunday brunch with my husband in awhile.  Have a great week!

    1. Enjoy Patricia!

  12. Leah @ Grain Changer says:

    Big and Fat are the ONLY (and best!) words to describe the best of all cinnamon rolls. 100% with you there! These look like HEAVEN. I think I’ll have to make a batch for Anthony one of these Sundays. (and maybe, JUST MAYBE I’ll be brave enough to try making them Gfree!)

  13. OMG–I’ve been looking for desserts for my husband’s birthday, but totally forgot about breakfast! He’s already asked for a German chocolate cake, but I think he’ll be IN LOVE with these for breakfast! Totally going to make these next week. <3

    1. I’ve been looking for a great german chocolate cake recipe! Perfect for birthdays.

  14. I’ve made your regular cinnamon rolls a couple of times now, never thought to make them mega-sized like the cinnamon rolls at the mall. Foods are dangerously better when they’re extra large (or mini) sized. Also, I saw all the snapchats of that beautiful wedding! That’s the only way I can describe it – it looked like a beautiful day, a beautiful bride, a beautiful cake… Sally, you should recreate those banana cupcakes with cinnamon frosting at home. They looked to-die for 🙂

    1. So, so, soooooo true on big and mini size food. Both are my downfall!! I’m glad you enjoyed the snaps! Those cupcakes were incredible.

  15. Stephanie | Worth Whisking says:

    Cinnabon was on my mind as soon as I saw your photos! These cinnamon rolls look amazing! Iced cinnamon rolls always remind me of Sunday morning breakfasts with my family when I was growing up. Thank you for bringing a smile to my face! 🙂

    1. Thank you Stephanie! They always seem to bring back a little nostalgia 🙂

  16. Killin me this monday am! SO amazing and def need to make and totally worth it.

    Thanks Sally!

  17. Oh my God Sally baking Goddess you have me with these giant tasty beauties 🙂

  18. Oh, this is handy. We’re going to NYC this week (we have Hamilton tickets!) and we’re staying with friends. Whenever we hang out with these friends, I usually make breakfast. I’ve made cinnamon chip scones, your Overnight French Toast bake and crepes recently, so I was looking for something new!

    1. Have so much fun!!

  19. Linda @thedutchbaker says:

    Ohh these are lovely! I made similar giant sized cinnamon rolls before and they were delicious! These look perfect, great pictures Sally i totally want to reach into my screen and grab one! Thanks for sharing and keep up the yummy posts! 🙂

  20. Jo Dale | FoodieOasis says:

    These look fantastic!!! For some reason, I have been craving cinnamon rolls & we all know they have to have cream cheese icing, right?! So, I have to try these. I may even add a few chopped pecans for a little crunch.

    1. There’s always room for some pecans. I love pecans in cinnamon rolls!

  21. Eden Passante says:

    This looks amazing!!! This will definitely make my mornings that much better!

  22. Katie @The Semisweet Sisters says:

    OMG I have a weakness for cinnamon rolls, especially giant sized cinnamon rolls. In Indiana we have an amazing Amish bakery that sells giant cinnamon rolls like these & I haven’t had one in so long. Yum!

  23. Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat says:

    Oh my gosh these rolls (insert heart eye emoji). Looks amazing! I’ve been slacking on breakfasts lately too, the struggle is real!

  24. Thank you so much for your quick reply

  25. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says:

    ohemgeeeee these cinnamon rolls are FORREAL. love!

  26. Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen says:

    Bigger the better! Totally worthy of a fabulous Sunday Brunch!

  27. Okay… so for the past 8 yrs, which is when I got serious about baking, I have avoided any and all recipes that involve yeast and rises of dough. However, I saw this and the angels sang… ahhhhhhhhhhh, < high pitched voice, so now your recipe here may be my very first yeast using, dough rising recipe I try. Wish me luck. I don't do Facebook, snapchat, insta, or any other social media thing except pintrest or I'd show you how they turn out when I get them done.

    1. Good luck, you can do this! And you can always email me with your results: info @ sallysbakingaddiction.com I’d love to hear about it!

  28. Definitely will be making these for my grandchildren. I’m nervous when a recipe calls for yeast and try to steer away from them, but these rolls look too good to pass up. Thanks for another great recipe.

    1. Don’t be nervous! It’s just another ingredient in the mix. You can easily make these!

  29. These look like pure perfection! I have a bit of a sweet spot for anything cinnamon roll related 🙂

  30. These look absolutely amazing. And GIGANTIC

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