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. When I made these I had issues with the cinnamon sugar melting and burning at the bottom. They were delicious but got very burnt. I put tin foil on but it didn’t help. Thank you!

    1. 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!

      1. Thank you! I will try that next time.

  2. Hi would having the dough rise with the butter filling in a warm
    Oven cause the filling to melt and drop out ? Step 4 and 5 .

  3. Hi Sally!

    I swear by these cinnamon rolls! I am traveling for Thanksgiving and wanted to bring them with me for a Thanksgiving breakfast! Any suggestions on how to deal with a 7 hour drive the previous day and baking the morning of? Or would it be better to make them a few days before fully baked and travel with them that way? Thank you!!!!

    1. Hi Katie! Best way is to bake them a few days before, then freeze them. They’ll thaw on the trip. Warm up in the oven on Thanksgiving morning. 🙂

  4. Hi I have been making your cinnamon rolls a lot recently. I normally skip the putting them in the fridge overnight part and let them rise for an hour before baking them. I melt my butter for the filling and let them rise on the counter. It’s pretty hot here like 80 ish degrees. But while they are cooking the filling melts out the bottom and carmelizes in the pan making the bottom of the cinnamon roll toffee like. Do you any idea why this is happening?

  5. Can I reduce the proofing time by putting in my convection oven that has a “proof” setting?

    1. That should be just fine.

  6. Hi Sally. I’ve been making 30+ pans for friends/family to give at holiday time for the past 5 years. I decided to abandon the recipe I have used the whole time (by a certain “Woman” who lives on a ranch :-)) to try yours. Rave reviews!! One thing to consider modifying on the recipe please where you are kneading the dough with the dough hook attachment: ” Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and supple, about 6 minutes longer.” This medium-high speed sent my adored Kitchenaid flying off of the counter. Thankfully it was ok, as was my hardwood floor! Everything I have read about caring for my mixer says to never go over speed three while kneading with the hook or risk burning up the motor “regardless of what a food blogger says.” You are so great and we all trust you so much that we will do whatever your recipe calls for!! I have learned this lesson though for myself! Thank you!

  7. This was a long process, but well worth the wait. I had whole milk and had to make butter milk with vinegar. My husband loved these rolls. I fell great and will make again.

  8. I’d like to try this recipe but can I make these rolls smaller? Would bake time be different?

    1. Yes you can. You can follow the cutting/shaping/baking directions for this recipe: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/overnight-cinnamon-rolls/

  9. Hi! I have a small group coming for Easter and would like to cut this recipe in half. Will it still work? Thanks!

    1. Hi Heidi! I recommend making the full recipe. You can freeze the dough for another time or freeze the extra cinnamon rolls for another time.

  10. Did you use full fat buttermilk or lowfat? It’s hard, but possible, to find full fat if that is what you suggest.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Trish! I usually use low fat since that’s more commonly found where I live.

  11. 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!

    1. 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.

  12. 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.

    1. Hi Terry! I wrap them tightly and refrigerate them, then I warm them in the microwave. They soften right back up!

      1. Terry Monroe says:

        Thanks your your reply. Every year my husband has a ham radio contest outdoors with no microwave oven access. To preserve softness, maybe I should wrap the cinnamon rolls as you suggest and get up at a ridiculous hour and frost them just before he leaves?

      2. That’s honestly what I would do for the best taste and texture!

  13. 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.

    1. 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.

  14. 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?

    1. 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!

  15. 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!

    1. 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!

  16. Hey sally, can raisins and nuts be added for the filling or is that just over the top? Thanks

    1. Yes, absolutely! I love adding raisins to cinnamon roll filling. I recommend about 1 cup total– half nuts, half raisins.

  17. Hi there! Love everything I’ve tried from your site so far. Looking for a good cinnamon roll recipe and I noticed this dough is almost the same as your overnight cinnamon roll dough, with the difference of using buttermilk in this recipe instead of whole milk. Curious as to which one you feel yielded a better final result? I would imagine the buttermilk may produce a softer, more tender roll… Thanks!

    1. Hi Leslie! Buttermilk gives the cinnamon rolls an extra tender texture. I absolutely love these!

  18. I tried this recipe for the first time but mine turned out a bit tough. What do you think I’ve done wrong?

    1. 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.

  19. 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!

    1. Yes, these are HUGE! Haha! If they turned out well then you didn’t do anything wrong 🙂

  20. Hi Sally, for this recipe can you substitute the all purpose flour for white whole wheat flour?

    1. Definitely. Same amount.

  21. Hi sally
    Can I sub 1:1 gluten free allpurpose flour? I have King Arthur brand. Thanks

    1. 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!

      1. Hey! Just making sure I have the right yeast as this is my first time working with it. I have a packet of red start quick rise instant dry yeast. Will that work?

      2. Yep! That yeast is perfect. You need 2 packets for this recipe.

  22. Hi Sally!
    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?

    1. Hi Adelyn! You can par-bake the rolls then refrigerate overnight before continuing to bake the next morning.

  23. 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!

  24. Scrumptious

  25. 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

  26. 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!!

    1. Either works– same amount! If using instant yeast, the rise time is slightly quicker.

  27. 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!!!

  28. 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!

  29. 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!

  30. hello Sally I noticed that your other cinnamon recipes does’nt have buttermilk but the big giant cinnamon have . This is my first time to make a cinnamon roll and a little bit confused which one is best to make. thanks

    1. Buttermilk makes the dough (and rolls) a bit richer. You can use whole milk like my others recipes if you’d like.

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