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
What would the cook time be if I wanted to make 12 smaller rolls instead of the 8 giant ones?
Hi Patricia! Here’s our recipe for 12 regular cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!
What a disappointment. Mine turned out so bread-y (is that a word?) I didn’t over bake them either. It just tasted like sugary bread with a dash of cinnamon. They were not soft or tender. I’m sorry but for a little extra work (I guess that would waiting for a second rise) you get something far superior. These rolls are really about the same amount of work, an endeavor that ultimately was for nothing because they are headed for the trash.
Hi Michelle, these giant cinnamon rolls require two rises. Did you skip the 2nd rise or make another recipe? I imagine a heavy, bread-like texture if that 2nd rise was skipped.
Maybe you rolled them too thick and didn’t get enough buttery cinnamon sugar? Mine turned out heavenly. Something definitely went wrong. I bake once or twice a week and make yeast bread regularly. A lot can go wrong, even when you make the recipes a hundred times lol. This one is good because you have a lot of rising time between the steps to get some work done or watch a movie. A trick to get a good rise: turn your oven light on before you start making your baked goods. Cover the dough with a clean towel and let rise for an hour with the light on. You will be amazed! Hope things turn out better for you in the future!
I was wondering if I could do the milk that you make into buttermilk I forgot to buy buttermilk at the store.
Hi Nicole, To make your own DIY version of buttermilk add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1 cup. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe (or you can simply use plain whole milk).
I’ve been telling my boyfriend about how I know the best cinnamon roll recipe and after 2 years I finally made him these, he would not stop exclaiming how much he loved them! By far this is the best recipe: not sickly sweet, amazingly fluffy, and incredibly addictive. Sally, you’ve done it again!
I’m wondering if I can add raisins on top of the filling and should I boil them and dry them first.
Hi Charlotte, We love adding raisins to cinnamon roll filling. No need to boil them.
Near perfect cinnamon rolls! This is the first recipe that yielded me very soft cinnamon rolls. Only thing was that a lot of effort goes into this to then find out that doubling up the cinnamon and sugar for the filling would have made them perfect! Definitely will try making these again with more filling 🙂
This recipe worked beautifully in my 90s bread machine. I followed the manufacturer’s directions to add the ingredients to the pan, used the dough setting, and let the dough proof for 30 min extra in the machine before rolling and cutting. Next time, I’ll use buttermilk for more flavor (I didn’t have any).
Hi Sally! These look amazing. I was wondering if I could use bread flour instead of all-purpose? Thanks!
Hi Lara, Bread flour should work for chewier rolls. Enjoy!
Hello, thank you for the par-baking instructions, I am looking forward to making these weeks ahead of time for the holidays. But I am not sure how to finish baking them once the half-baked rolls have thawed a bit. Could you please elaborate on how many minutes, and at what temperature, they should be baked? Thanks!
Hi Linda, if you are following the make ahead and freezing instructions, you can finish backing them at 375°F (191°C) for about 15 minutes. Enjoy!
I made the rolls last night and put them in the refrigerator. I got scared when rolling them because the dough was so soft. I used whole milk but forgot to add the vinegar to make it into buttermilk. Nonetheless, I baked them this morning (eating one as I’m typing this lol) and doubled the icing. I also used brown sugar in the inside instead of white .It is so soft and moist. These are amazing! I will be making these again soon!
I really enjoy your recipes and I have made a number of them. I have also made these cinnamon buns before and they have turned out beautifully. Can I refrigerate the buns longer than 8-12 hours prior to baking? Thank you.
Hi Carrie, We do not recommend letting the dough rise for longer than 12 hours. You can see the recipe notes for longer make ahead instructions.
If I added brown sugar, in addition to white sugar combined, would it still have to measure up to 1/2 cup for the filling or could I just add more? I don’t want to weigh down my rolls.
You can use brown sugar in the filling instead of white! But we don’t recommend adding more. Enjoy!
There is no place else to look, when searching for tasty pies, cakes, and now cinnamon rolls! I am making BIG cinnamon rolls for guests this weekend, and want to add some cranberries into the filling – mmm, so good! I’m not sure how much to put in though – would a cup be too much? Thank you for helping to make me look like a super star baker!
Hi Suzanne, we’d start with about a cup. Let us know how it goes!
They look wonderful! Can I make the dough in my bread machine? Thank you!
Hi Ann, We haven’t tested this dough in a bread machine but let us know how it goes if you do!
I almost never comment on blogs but just wanted to say I appreciate SO much that you include weights (and in grams!) and baking temperature in Celsius. It makes everything so much easier for those of us who bake this way! Like many others, yours are my go-to recipes for cinnamon rolls. This is my first time making the jumbo ones and they’re for a friend but I’m sure they’ll be great as usual! As one other person mentioned the instruction to punch down the dough before turning it out after the first rise is missing from the actual recipe instructions, that would be a helpful and easy edit. It’s also a little tricky to know if the rolls are going to overbake since it’s “25 minutes or until tops are golden brown”, but as you note the tops are golden brown by halfway through thus needing to cover with aluminum foil 🙂 anyway, knowing my oven runs average I’m hoping they’re just right. THANK YOU again! 🙂
Hi Sally; IMPORTANTT;
Need to make only half the recipe. HOW TO PLEASE. 9-13-22
PEEASE RESPOND YODAY. Thank you
Hi Linda, you could halve this dough recipe. When you roll it out into a rectangle, I wouldn’t exactly halve those measurements because you would have very small rolls if you rolled it out to 5x8inches. I would measure it out to be somewhere between that and 10×16 inch.
Good morning! Sally thank you for another wonderful recipe w/ your step by step instructions. I had a little trouble warming the buttermilk-it separated-so I just threw it out,and used whole milk instead. Everything else was a breeze ( thanks to your instructions & I prepped everything ahead of time).
My fiancé loved every bite- we shared it w/neighbors too,and they thought we brought the cinnamon rolls home from a bakery .
It was a confidence booster & I’ll be baking your other cinnamon roll recipes.
Everything you share Sally is absolutely wonderful & we’re all very lucky to benefit from your generosity.
I’m about to make for tomorrow morning and I wonder if the Saran Wrap over the rolls touch and I pull off will they deflate??! Thanks so much
Hi Lorie, the rolls should not deflate that way. Hope you enjoy them!
Can you freeze the frosted cinnamon rolls?
Hi Raewyn, you could, but the frosting could get a bit messy when reheating. For best freshness, we’d recommend freezing the rolls unfrosted and then frosting when serving.
Can I substitute quick ribs yeast? This recipe looks amazing and my kids are coming home for the weekend.
Hi Heidi, absolutely. Instructions remain exactly the same. We swap between active dry and instant yeast all the time when we make these rolls. Hope your kids love them!
I would give this recipe 6 stars if I could. I was a little concerned at first because the dough was stiffer than I expected and it took a long time to rise. But holy cow did these rolls expand on the second rise and achieved giant status in the oven. Absolutely delicious and well worth the effort. Great bake for a cozy rainy day at home or when you’re snowed in!
I LOVE all your cinnamon roll recipes and am obsessed with buttermilk so was excited to give this one a try. My yeast didn’t foam, though…maybe because I used active dry (usually I do instant), maybe because my warmed buttermilk was made from 50% sour cream, 50% whole milk? The latter is GREAT in pancakes but the consistency was really thick…
Switching back to the original recipe to be safe but would love thoughts on what might have gone wrong / what I should change next time!
Hi Divya, Thank you so much for trying this recipe! Did you make your own buttermilk by mixing sour cream and whole milk? That may have been too thick we wonder if your homemade version simply weighed everything down. If you don’t have store bought buttermilk, a DIY soured milk would be the best substitute (or you can simply use plain whole milk).
To make your own DIY version of buttermilk add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1 cup. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.
My go to cinnamon roll recipe! I substitute brown sugar for white sugar in filling, and I double the frosting recipe. Cinnamon rolls are a big tradition for Easter and Christmas in my Kansas family. Thanks for the great recipe.
I also do a brown sugar with a smidgey of white with cinnamon for the filling and double the icing. these are so good!!!!
I just made these, they are very good. Jumbo indeed. Had to share it with my husband.
Can recipe be doubled?
Hi Tina, for best results, we recommend making two separate batches.
i just love your yeast dough recipes and i think this one is my favorite for cinnamon rolls! I switched up the filling a bit with half brown sugar and half white granulated and added 1/4 tsp of dark French roast instant coffee! Eight out of ten tasters loved the extra kick of the dark coffee flavor so…… LOL i love baking and i am so grateful for your site
Best recipe!!!! I do substitute Regular unsalted butter for clarified butter for just the filling ,and I use bread flour instead of all purpose.
Last week we made the Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls and this week we are making the Giant Cinnamon Rolls. This recipe calls for Buttermilk and the Pumpkin recipe called for melting butter into Whole Milk.
Question: Could I have just used Buttermilk instead of melting butter with the Whole Milk? (When making Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls). Thank you for another great recipe and thanks to the excellent instructions about yeast, I’m no longer intimidated about baking with yeast!!
These look absolutely delicious. I used to make cinnamon rolls where the dough could be in the fridge overnight but lost it. I so much want to make these. Is there a way for me to print the recipe? I would also like to make the cinnamon crunch bread.
Hi Del, in the recipe section above you’ll find a button that says “print recipe” directly under the recipe yield. Press that button, a new window will open, and you can print the recipe! Here’s our cinnamon crunch bread recipe – you’ll follow those same steps to print this recipe, too. Enjoy!
Thank you for your quick response. I am on my way to buy buttermilk. I will also check out your other recipes.
I made these rolls and they are delicious! We made french toast out of the leftovers. Will this recipe make 2 loaves of bread instead of the rolls?
Hi Gloria, we haven’t tried making loaves out of this dough, but you might enjoy our cinnamon crunch bread instead — it makes wonderful French toast!
I read above “Punch down the risen dough and get ready to roll it out and fill it.” But I didn’t find that step in the recipe?
Hi Kari, you will want to punch the dough down in step 3, right before turning the risen dough out onto your work surface.