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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.)

close up photo of a big cinnamon roll being scooped out of the pan

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

copycat Cinnabon cinnamon roll on plate

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. 🙂

dough in pink stand mixer bowl

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.

dough after 1st rise and punched down

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.

rolling up cinnamon roll dough
cutting cinnamon roll dough into rolls

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?

giant cinnamon rolls before and after rising

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.
two big frosted cinnamon rolls on white plates

More Indulgent Breakfast Recipes

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

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copycat Cinnabon cinnamon roll on plate

Big Giant Cinnamon Rolls

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours (includes rise times)
  • Yield: 8 large rolls 1x
  • 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

Scale

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 (563g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for dusting/rolling

Filling

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 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.
  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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  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 😀

    1. me too! i almost exclusively bake from this site:) my whole family thinks I’m an amazing baker but its all a trick

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

    1. I haven’t tried that substitution, but it should work. The dough will be a little heavier.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Love this recipe. My 5 year old makes them with me. I have found in Colorado at 5,000 ft I need to bake it for only 22 mins. Also, I use brown sugar instead of white for the filling, and I add 2 more oz of cream cheese to the icing. Thanks for the great recipe!

  10. Made half a recipe (4) today and they were AMAZING!! THX!!

  11. I’ve been hungry for cinnamon rolls and finally made these. Very easy recipe and you just have to remember to start the day before. Just hubby and me, so I made them in 2 8” square pans of 4 rolls each. I baked one pan for the recommended 10 minutes and wrapped them for the freezer. Baked the other pan of giant rolls for breakfast (or 2) and my husband ate 2 for breakfast! I think he’s eyeing my second roll for lunch! I guess I’ll find out how the freezer stored ones finish baking sooner rather than later. Can’t wait to take these to my weekly Girlfriend Coffee once this COVID-19 stuff is over! Thanks for all the support.

  12. These are the best cinnamon rolls I have ever tasted let alone made! The dough was wonderful to work with. OMG good!!

  13. Second attempt at these and still can’t seem to get my yeast to get frothy. Brand new yeast…buttermilk at 95 degrees…2/3 sugar. Nothing both times, flat. What am I missing?

    1. Hi Katherine! Does it look bubbly or foamy on top at all? Try using only 1 Tablespoon of sugar in this step then add the remaining sugar when you add the flour. That should help.

  14. I was wondering if you could you use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour? Will it make a difference in the rolls? Thanks!

    1. You can, but I recommend using a jumbo muffin pan or, if using a standard 12 count muffin pan, cutting the rolls to be a little smaller.

    1. Absolutely. Instructions remain exactly the same. I swap between active dry and instant yeast all the time when I make these rolls.

  15. I made these for the first time. They tasted great! But the cinnamon rolls seemed heavy. Could my problem have been proofing my yeast?

  16. These are absolutely decadent! Followed the recipe exactly (except substitutes scant cup of whole milk + 1 tbs. lemon juice for buttermilk). They came out great! My 6 year old granddaughter said the recipe was a keeper!

  17. I made this for the first time for my son’s 16th birthday. They turned out perfect. My only suggestion is to increase the amount of frosting. As good as it tasted, you grossly underestimated the amount needed.

  18. The recipe is wonderful! Thank you! I’m wondering if it is OK to add more butter for the filling? We like our rolls a little more gooey. 😉
    I also love the cream cheese frosting but think it might be a good idea to add an alternative recipe to the page for a traditional cinnamon roll frosting, as not everyone likes cream cheese.

  19. I am curious if homemade buttermilk (whole milk and lemon juice) will do the same to this recipe as store bought buttermilk?

  20. So delicious!! I made the cream cheese frosting to go with it and they were perfect!

  21. I made these for overnight and the dough goop just went in a puddle of butter. They rose outward and flat. Not upright. And they didn’t get done in the middle. I put them in a warm over to rise.

  22. I’m making these tonight and suspect I did something wrong as the dough is very sticky. Is this something that can happen if the butter is too soft when mixing it with the yeast?

    1. Hi Karen, You’re not necessarily doing anything wrong– a lot of factors go into this such as mixing time, speed, weather, yeast, and temperature of water. Feel free to add a little more flour to make a soft, yet workable dough.

  23. Hello! Thanks for the recipe, I used these a lot of times! I really love these because the dough tastes more like a brioche.
    One question, usually I overnight them after make the shape, but you think i can overnight just after the first rise and then fill and shape in the morning?.
    Thanks!
    (Sorry for my english)

    1. Hi Lu, It’s really best to have the second rise be the longer overnight rise in the refrigerator.

  24. man, oh man… These are fantastic!!! I did the overnight version and gave my husband directions before bed on what he was to do in the morning. I was hoping that it would allow me to sleep till time to put into oven. It didn’t q u i t e go as planned but close. He is a fan of the cinnamon rolls out of a can and I’ve been ok with letting that go. Canned aren’t my fave (are they REALLY anyone’s?) but he is always very pleased with his special breakfast. So, I’ve let it go. Until now. COVID brought me to a ridiculous level of baking. I’d guess at least 75% of bakers would agree. I was lucky that he did the shopping but his “prepping” with extra flour and bottles of yeast when he could find it only encouraged this newfound passion. Hopefully we are on the downhill side of this pandemic and the COVID 19 will soon disappear off my body, except where this recipe is concerned. Delicious. I will never try a different cinnamon roll recipe, ever. Like really truly ever. Now I’ll have to check out the chocolate chip cookies that folks are raving about. So much for the 19 disappearing. Thank you!!

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