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. 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 😀

  2. Patricia Castillo says:

    I’m 67 years old, worked almost all my life and because of this coronavirus nonsense, am unable to go to work! So I’m baking up a storm!!!! Just made my ver first cinnamon rolls ever! Just took my first bite… and as soon as I’m done with this comment, will continue with the rest. I am so glad to have found you on the web! Every recipe I’ve made, I got from you. Even made my very first edible pie crust thanks to you. Thank you so much for your blog and your recipes. A fan and follower, Patricia Castillo.

    1. Me toooooooo! I have been making her recipes and they are the best in the world! Have you tried her chocolate chip cookies? My boyfriend is in love with them!

    2. Same here! Your site is my go-to whenever I feel like baking anything. I love all the recipes I’ve tried so far and absolutely thankful that you always have measurements in weight!

    3. Coronavirus nonsense??? I guess over 341,000 deaths is such an inconvenience you are forced to bake. SMH…

      1. I love this recipe, and cinnamon rolls are my husband’s fav!
        We are having a baby next week, and I’m wondering about freezing the dough. Can I wrap it, sealed tightly, before the first rise and freeze like that? I don’t have freezer space to form/bake first.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Can I bake these in a cast iron skillet?

    1. A 12 inch cast iron skillet should be large enough, yes!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

    1. I’m so happy you are becoming more confident working with yeast! Thanks so much for your positive feedback, Veronica 🙂

  8. Hey! Mine rose to double in the fridge overnight. When that happens, should I still set them out them on the counter for 1.5 hours? I went ahead and did that so they’d come to room temp before baking. Hope they don’t fall!
    Thanks for the great recipe!

  9. Marty johnson says:

    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.

  10. Margaret O’Leary says:

    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

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. Judy Anderson says:

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

  14. Leslie Temmen says:

    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.

  15. Judy Oberist says:

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

  16. Can Red Star Platinum Yeast be used for this recipe? Thanks!!

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Definitely!

  17. 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.

    2. I believe your temp on your milk was too low to activate the yeast. I usually go for 115 and then add the sugar. Adding 1 to tsp of the sugar at this point will drop the temp of the milk between 100 and 110 which is where you need to be.

      1. I meant adding 1 to 2 tsp of sugar at this point.

  18. 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. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Erin, Bread flour should work for chewier rolls. Enjoy!

  19. Can I bake these in a muffin tin

    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.

  20. Can I use quick yeast for the overnight recipe?

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

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

  22. Carol M Rock says:

    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!

  23. Christophe Tadlock says:

    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.

  24. 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.

    1. Hi Deb, feel free to use more butter in the filling. If you’d ever like to try an alternate topping option, the maple icing from my maple cinnamon rolls is a favorite.

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

    1. I’ve done that several times making these and they’re always great!

  26. These are amazing! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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

  28. 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.

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