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 are awesome! I made these yesterday afternoon/evening. My house smelled amazing and they taste heavenly!

    1. I’m glad you made and love them!

  2. Thanks so much Colleen! Happy you liked these cinnamon rolls– and that the snickerdoodles got a stamp of approval too! So cute. 🙂

  3. Laura | Tutti Dolci says:

    These cinnamon rolls are absolutely everything my weekend needs!

  4. Hello Sally , I want to ask you , why 2 packets of yeast. Isn’t this too much or its ok , because I usually use only one for that amout of flour , thank you

  5. Carol VanderMolen says:

    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!

  6. Sarah A Schwartz says:

    This looks so so yummy! Would it work if it was made with oil instead of butter?

    1. Butter is definitely imperative for the dough. Plus, tastes better that way too!

  7. My yeast always seems to be clumpy after I mix it. Can I use a wisk? Any tips? Thanks!

    1. I would simply whisk it. Though there can be some clumps when it’s just the yeast, milk, and sugar. It will all dissolve and mix in when the other ingredients are added.

  8. Whole milk would be fine!

  9. Interesting. Do you cover the rolls nice and tight with plastic wrap when they sit in the fridge? Do the final baked rolls taste too moist?

    1. Yes to the first question. As I remember, I would try to blot off the excess moisture.  I basically have quit trying to make them this way (because of the moisture problem) and make & bake the same day.  Just wondered if you had ever had the same problem! Sometimes it’s just nice to mix up in the afternoon & bake the next morning. I don’t remember them being too moist. Guess I will just have to try it again! Thank you Sally for your response & all your great recipes!!!

  10. Roshani Khanna says:

    Mmmmmm…..yum. This looks totally amazing. I’m just starring at the screen looking at how delicious they look.
    My mouth is watering.

  11. 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! 

    1. Stacy, how about lowering the oven temperature by 25 degrees. Are you baking in a convection oven?

  12. Planning on making these, Sally! I have either double cream greek yoghurt or whole cream milk or even milk + vinegar as options. Which one shall I use?

    Annemieke

  13. Oh my gosh this looks so good! I am over here drooling over this dish right now. I am all over this. I can’t even stop starring.

  14. Hi Sally! I cannot wait to make these with my new mixer. Question. When you bake them do you bake them in the pyrex looking dish you posted the photos of them in? Or what should I bake them in? Also when you “warm the dough” you said you turn your over on to 250. Do you wait until it preheats to 250 then turn it off then immediately put the dough in? Do you close the door of the oven?

    1. Hi Natalie! Great questions. You can bake these in pretty much any appropriately sized baking pan, but I reach for my 9×13 pyrex. About the oven trick– I heat the oven to 250, then once it reaches 250, I turn it off. Put the rolls in, close the door (or leave it very slightly ajar– either works).

  15. Hello Sally! Where did you get those beautiful white plates? Super cute for any dessert!!

  16. Hey Sally,

    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 🙂

    1. So sweet! 🙂

  17. Samantha Willsey says:

    Hi Sally! Just made a batch of the molasses white chocolate chips cookies, they were a hit last year and requested for Christmas this year! So yummy!!! I want to make these cinnamon rolls for brunch, all I have in my freezer is the highly active instant rise yeast. Can I use this? 

  18. Hi Sally,
    Love your recipes! I’m in Belfast, and I can only find easy/quick yeast – nowhere seems to sell active dry yeast. Do you think it would still work if I added the quick yeast with the flour? It says on the instructions to add the quick yeast to dry ingredients, rather than wet ingredients. Any pearls of wisdom would be much appreciated, as I’m supposed to be making these tomorrow!! Thanks so much 🙂

    1. Quick yeast seems to be just fine!

  19. Just love these kind of recipes – simple, light, fast and delicious. Can’t wait to try this. Thanks!

  20. 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!

  21. Look amazing!  Would these work in a bread machine?

    1. I can’t see why not!

  22. 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.

  23. Hello Sally! Will DIY bittermilk work for these? Thanks!

  24. Hey Sally! Have you ever used brown sugar instead of regular sugar in the filling?

    1. I have, yes! It’s wonderful! Use the same amount 🙂

  25. Hi Sally! I’m a little confused about the letting them rise overnight. When I take them out and they thaw in the morning for 1-2 hours, can I just bake them for the full time? I don’t get the putting them in the freezer, then the fridge…I appreciate your response! Trying to make these Christmas morning 🙂

    1. Hi Sarah! It looks like a few words are missing. Freeze them after par-baking for 10 minutes. Thaw them in the fridge, then continue baking. I just fixed it. Thank you so much!

      1. Thanks so much for responding! Just so I’m clear, I make them up to step 4, put in fridge to rise overnight, take them out and bake for 10 minutes at 375, then refreeze (for how long?) then thaw and bake the remaining 15? I really appreciate your clarification!!

      2. Exactly. And you can freeze the par-baked rolls for up to 3 months.

  26. Merry Christmas Sally! I thought I had made the best cinnamon buns last year when I made your overnight cinnamon rolls, but after tasting these this morning (LOVE the size) I think THESE are the best buns! #caloriesdontcountonChristmas ..Enjoy your first Christmas with your little one! 

  27. 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!

    1. This makes me so happy to read! I’m so happy that they are not only are a hit but are also fun to make!!

  28. Hi sally!

    I’m wanting to make these tomorrow and had a question about the filling. I’ve only ever done brown sugar with cinnamon. Could you please explain the difference in using white sugar for the filling?

    1. Hi Erica! There really is no difference. I love it both ways. You can swap the white sugar for brown sugar if you’d like.

  29. 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 !!

    1. YAY! I’m thrilled you are baking with yeast and that you were able to troubleshoot the humidity!

  30. Hi Sally!
    These cinnamon rolls look amazing.
    I’d like to try this recipe. Would it be okay to melt the butter?

    1. Hi Esther! I recommend following the recipe and using softened butter.

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