Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake

Learn how to make a giant cinnamon roll cake using my easy 7 ingredient homemade cinnamon roll dough and swirling it into one large cake. Top with vanilla icing for an extra fun and indulgent breakfast or brunch. Kids LOVE this! (Ok, adults too.)

This recipe is brought to you in partnership with Red Star Yeast.

giant cinnamon roll cake

If you find yourself (1) with a giant cinnamon roll craving, (2) bored and looking for a fun baking project, and/or (3) in need of a FUN family-friendly breakfast, brunch, or dessert– I have just the recipe. I originally published this giant cinnamon roll cake several years ago and after making it 7,938x since then (approximation, of course), I decided to add some updates. It’s even better now!

Discover new pictures, extra recipe notes, and a video tutorial to help guarantee mega cinnamon roll success. Because if you’re going to make cinnamon rolls, you might as well make the best, most giant cinnamon roll ever. It’s impossible not to love this.

Why You’ll Love This Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake

  • It’s a cinnamon roll the size of your head.
  • Only requires 1 short rest and 1 long rise. (Not 2 rises!)
  • No special tools required.
  • Perfect for yeast beginners.
  • Kids love to help roll it up.
  • Fun to eat.
  • Smothered in vanilla icing.
  • I repeat: it’s a cinnamon roll the size of your head.

giant cinnamon roll cake slice

Perfect for Yeast Beginners

Do you love homemade cinnamon rolls, but are nervous to bake with yeast? I used to be this way too, but my easy cinnamon rolls completely changed that mindset. They only need 1 short rest period and 1 long rise, as opposed to two long rises like my overnight cinnamon rolls. Same fluffy cinnamon roll goodness, but in half the time. We’re using a very similar dough recipe for today’s cinnamon roll cake.

Here’s my #1 tip: I exclusively use Red Star Yeast in my bread baking and always recommend readers do the same. A dependable yeast like Platinum Yeast by Red Star pretty much guarantees dough success. This is an instant yeast, which helps cut down on rise time. Not only this, its careful formula strengthens your dough and makes working with yeast simple. And simple, especially when it comes to bread baking, is always good.

Bottom line: I recommend Platinum Yeast by Red Star in this cinnamon roll cake.

red star yeast platinum packets

Video Tutorial: Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake


How to Make a Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake

  1. Make the dough: The ingredients are pretty standard: flour, sugar, salt, yeast, milk, butter, and egg. Heat the butter and milk together. Next, stir or beat the milk mixture into the dry ingredients, then add the egg. After mixing, your dough is ready to knead. You’ll notice I use all milk (no water) and *slightly* more butter than my easy cinnamon rolls recipe. I wanted a richer dough for this cinnamon roll cake. Same great results.
  2. Knead the dough: You can use your mixer or hands to knead the dough. Watch me knead the dough with my hands in the video tutorial above. When you’re finished kneading, cover the dough and let it rest for about 30 minutes. It won’t really rise during this time, but this allows the gluten to relax, which makes shaping much easier.
  3. Fill & shape the cinnamon roll cake: Here’s where the fun starts! Roll the dough out into a 15×12 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top, then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, slice the dough into 6 horizontal strips. (Each are 15 inches long.) Roll up 1 strip and place in a greased pan. Coil the remaining 5 strips around the center roll, starting each strip at the end of the previous one to make one large cinnamon roll. Some of the filling may spill out as you pick up the strips, so just sprinkle it on top of the cake when you’re done shaping it.
  4. Rise: Let the shaped cake rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours. Remember, this is the only rise time required!
  5. Bake: After the giant cinnamon roll cake is puffy, bake until golden brown.
  6. Drizzle with vanilla icing: Whisk confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla extract together until smooth. Drizzle all over the warm cake.

cinnamon roll cake

Cinnamon Roll Cake Step-by-Step Pictures

Mix the dry ingredients together. Heat the butter and milk together.

dough ingredients

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, add the egg, and beat into a slightly soft dough. (If you don’t have a mixer, you can make this dough by hand.)

dough in mixing bowl

Knead this dough, then let it rest for about 30 minutes.

Roll out into a large rectangle. Top with softened butter.

rolled out dough with butter

Sprinkle a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon on top, then cut into 6 strips. Roll up 1 strip.

strips of cinnamon roll dough

Place into your greased pan. Coil remaining strips around it.

shaping a cinnamon roll cake

Before baking, let the shaped cake rise until puffy:

giant cinnamon roll cake before baking

3 Helpful Tips

  1. Best pan to use: I recommend a 9-inch round pie dish or cake pan.
  2. Keep it flat: While the giant cinnamon roll cake is baking, some spots may rise up more than other spots. That’s completely normal and expected from something this large! Simply remove the pan from the oven and, with the back of a spatula, press down the spots that are rising taller than others to help keep them even.
  3. Don’t have all morning to spend on this dough? Feel free to prep the dough the night before. This is a wonderful way to save time in the morning so you can wake up and eat sooner! See my make-ahead/overnight instructions in the written recipe below.

vanilla icing on cinnamon roll cake

Let’s Dig In

To serve, cut the giant cinnamon roll like a traditional cake. Alternatively, you could uncoil it and let everyone have a go, sort of like you do with monkey bread. Hey, it’s ok to have fun with your food once in awhile. Now go make some cake!!

giant cinnamon roll cake slice

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.

Print
giant cinnamon roll cake

Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: one 9-inch cake
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Learn how to make a beautiful, fluffy, and fun cinnamon roll cake using my kitchen-tested shortcut dough recipe. Review the video tutorial above and recipe notes below before beginning.


Ingredients

  • 2 and 3/4 cups (345g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more as needed
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons Platinum Yeast by Red Star (1 standard packet)*
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons; 60g) unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature

Filling

  • 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons; 60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) packed light or dark brown sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

Vanilla Icing

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Make the dough: Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together. Set aside. Heat the milk and butter together in the microwave until the butter is melted and the mixture is warm to the touch, between 100-110°F, 38-43°C. Pour the warm milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Add the egg. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment, or using a rubber spatula and mixing by hand, beat/mix the mixture until a soft dough forms. The dough is ready when it gently pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is pretty sticky, beat/mix in 2-4 extra Tablespoons of flour. (Keep in mind that you want the dough to remain on the softer side.)
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for 3 minutes (for a visual, watch me knead in the video above). If you’d rather use the mixer to knead it, beat the dough on low speed for 3 minutes instead. After kneading, poke the dough with your finger – if it slowly bounces back, the dough is ready for the next step. If not, keep kneading.
  3. Form the dough into a ball on your work surface. Cover it with a clean towel, aluminum foil, or plastic wrap, then let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Alternatively, the ball of dough can rest in a covered and lightly greased mixing bowl.
  4. Make the filling: After 30 minutes, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a 15×12 inch rectangle. Evenly spread the softened butter on top. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle it all over the buttered dough.
  5. Grease a 9-inch round pie dish or cake pan with butter or nonstick spray.
  6. Shape the cinnamon roll cake: See the video tutorial and my step-by-step photos above for a visual of this shaping step. Using a very sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into six 2-inch wide strips. Roll up one strip and place it in the center of the pan. Coil the remaining 5 strips around the center roll, starting each strip at the end of the previous one to make one large cinnamon roll. Some of the filling may spill out as you pick up the strips, so just sprinkle it on top of the cake when you’re done shaping it.
  7. Loosely cover the cake with aluminum foil or plastic wrap 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 shaped cake 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.)
  8. Bake: After the cake’s dough has doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. If you notice the top or edges browning too quickly, tent the cake with aluminum foil. While the giant cinnamon roll cake is baking, some spots may rise up more than other spots. That’s completely normal and expected from something this large. Simply remove the pan from the oven and, with the back of a spatula, press down the spots that are rising taller than others to help keep them even. Return to baking.
  9. Remove the finished cinnamon roll cake from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the icing.
  10. Make the icing: Whisk the icing ingredients together. If you want a thicker icing, whisk in more confectioners’ sugar. If you want a thinner icing, whisk in more milk or cream. Drizzle all over warm cake and serve.
  11. The cinnamon roll cake is best enjoyed the same day it’s made, but will remain fresh covered tightly for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Notes

  1. Overnight Instructions: The night before serving, prepare the cinnamon roll cake through step 6. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 8-12 hours. The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise on the counter, covered, for 1-2 hours before continuing with step 8.
  2. Freezing Instructions: Baked cinnamon roll cake can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up before enjoying. You can also freeze the unbaked cinnamon roll cake and here’s how: bake the cake in step 8 for only about 10 minutes. Cool completely, then cover tightly and freeze. To thaw and bake, take the cake out of the freezer and put into the refrigerator a few hours before you wish to serve it. Before serving, finish baking it.
  3. Yeast: Platinum Yeast by Red Star is an instant yeast. You can use active dry yeast instead. If using active-dry yeast, whisk the yeast into the warm butter/milk mixture instead of into the dry ingredients. (If you forget to do this and add the active-dry yeast to the dry ingredients, the cake will still be fine– trust me!) The rise time will take a little longer if using active dry yeast. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  4. Icing: I originally topped this giant cinnamon roll cake with vanilla maple icing. Simply replace 1 Tablespoon of milk/cream with pure maple syrup. If desired for a coffee flavored icing, replace all of the milk/cream with strong brewed black coffee.

Keywords: cinnamon roll cake, giant cinnamon roll

338 Comments

  1. Sally – this giant cinnamon roll looks perfect for Christmas morning! As always, I love your photography and very detailed posts, which are so helpful! I have a hunch Santa will be putting a KitchenAid stand mixer under the tree (I’ve had a hand mixer for years, which can be difficult when baking certain recipes) and the first thing I’m going to make is one of your cinnamon roll recipes. 🙂 I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!!

    1. I hope Santa gives you that stand mixer, Cory! You deserve it. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas as well! xo

  2. I just wanted to let you know, i made 6 of your recipes for my holiday party and they all turned out amazing!! People raved over the fudge, cookies and dips, all from your blog. Thank you so much for all your amazingly delish recipes!!! 🙂

    1. That completely makes my day, Lisa – thank you! I love hearing about it. You’ll have to let me know which exact recipes you made. I love fudge – of any kind. 🙂

      1. Aww you are so sweet, I’m glad i could make your day, bc i am so thankful for all you do! So i made the 4 ingredient peanut butter fudge, cinnamon toffee cheesecake dip, gingerbread cupcakes, honey roasted peanut butter oatmeal cookies, chocolate chunk cookies and snickerdoodles! They all were just amazingI told everyone about your blog as well. happy new year!

      2. You chose some incredible recipes to make. 😉 Happy new year and thanks for sharing my blog with others!

  3. Christi @ Love From The Oven says:

    This is amazing. I think *this* is what I want for Christmas!!! Love it Sally! Have a wonderful Christmas. 🙂

    1. Merry Christmas Christi!

  4. Yum! I know what I’m making for Christmas breakfast. Thank you, Sally!

    1. Enjoy, Madae!

  5. Merry Christmas Averie!

  6. OH.MY.GOD! My mouth literally fell open when i saw this post! You’ve really outdone yourself this time! Its a mystery to me how you stay the same size after making all these yummy treats.. Anyway, Merry Christmas Sally!

  7. Thank you Sally-perfect timing! I was just thinking about what to make tomorrow morning…no canned cinnamon rolls at our house this Christmas!

    1. Yes, homemade is always better! 🙂

  8. Oh. My. Goodness. Favorite recipe of the year? That’s a big deal… this must be as incredible as it looks! Love the photos and your process shots are unbelievably explanatory and helpful. That dish you baked it in is stunning! And vanilla maple glaze? Yesss please. Drooling. I hope you have a wonderful, joyful Christmas and have a chance to rest and enjoy the time!

    1. Thank you Erin! The pie dish is from William’s Sonoma. And hope you have a very very Merry Christmas! xo

  9. This is a great recipe! I made your gingerbread cupcakes yesterday and almost died because they were so good!!

    I’ve asked before on here if you lived in MD…. you don’t have to answer this, but do you happen to be in Columbia? That’s the mall by my apartment, anyway!!

    1. I do live near Columbia – yes! And those gingerbread cupcakes. Love ’em!

  10. SALLY, you are a GENIUS!!!!! Seriously, I think you’ve invented something like the cronut, turducken, capookie…so start thinking of what crazy name you want these to have! This is such a BEAUTIFUL recipe, and so creative, and the second I understood what you had made, I started daydreaming about using your cake-batter cinnamon rolls, or any of the fruit sweet rolls (orange, raspberry, cherry, LEMON OH MY GOSH) for this incredible recipe. The photographs are STUNNINGLY pretty. I don’t blame you for deciding this is your favorite recipe of the year…it’s amazing! You saved the best for (nearly) last! 😀

    1. A cronut – that’s something I still want to try at a bakery! And I love your suggestions Caley – yes, a lemon version! Oh my gosh. And a cake batter version as a birthday cake! Yes! xoxo

  11. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough says:

    Oooooh, this cake. Love when a genius idea becomes a successful reality. I can only imagine how amazing your house smelled after baking this.

    Merry Christmas, Sally!

    1. Merry Christmas Stephanie! And thank you.

  12. Mary @ Its All About The Yummy says:

    I am so making this for tomorrow morning! It is such a pretty presentation, perfect for Christmas morning. Thank you so much for sharing. Looking forward to more of your wonderful recipes in the New Year!
    Merry Christmas!

    1. Let me know how you like it Mary! Merry Christmas.

  13. Emily @ Life on Food says:

    Yes, please! This looks beautiful and oh so delicious. Cinnamon rolls are my favorite.

  14. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    Giiiiiirl, every time I visit this site it just gets better and better! This cake looks insanely delicious!

  15. I have made several of your recipes and LOVE them! I always make cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast… I am going to make this recipe for this Christmas!!!! YUM

    1. It’s the perfect Christmas breakfast cake! Thanks Elena – Merry Christmas and enjoy!

  16. I love this idea and cannot wait to eat it Christmas morning! I also enjoy Pioneer Woman’s Pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Could I do the same thing with that recipe or any cinnamon roll type recipe?

    1. Hi Destiny – unfortunately, I’m unsure. I’ve never tried that recipe.

  17. Kira - The Healthable Old Soul says:

    Cinnamon Rolls are sometimes addicting! I am excited to try a GIANT cinnamon roll.

    1. Thanks Kira – let me know if/when you try it!

  18. Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) says:

    Ummm….this is perfection. Way better than that place that starts with C 🙂

    1. hahahahah I agree. 😉 Thanks Laura!

  19. Julia | JuliasAlbum.com says:

    Sally, this is one delicious breakfast (and huge one, too!) Your lucky family. The food they get to it. Very Merry Christmas to you, dear Sally!

    1. Thanks Julia!! A very, very Merry Christmas to you as well. xo

  20. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says:

    This looks uber delicious, nom nom. Have a great holiday girl! Enjoy it and take some time to relax!

    1. Thanks Pamela – hope you have a great holiday too!

  21. Layla @ Brunch Time Baker says:

    This is such an interesting Concept! love it

  22. That looks amazing! I just made a bunch of diced apple cinnamon filling I might have to use with this 🙂

    1. Oh Gianna, that would be SO good!

  23. Ok, I’m literally drooling right now after seeing these amazing pictures. If only I didn’t have to wrap a bunch of gifts for friends and family, I would be in the kitchen making this cinnamon roll cake. Would it be wrong of me to use gift bags, and call it a day? Love your Emile Henry pie dish too. Wishing you a Merry Christmas.

    1. Love this pie dish – so much! It was a birthday present. 🙂 And you must try this cinnamon roll cake, Lydia!

  24. Beth @ bethcakes says:

    This is incredible, Sally! Such an impressive presentation. This definitely looks like the ultimate breakfast to me. What a wonderful treat to wake up to. So gorgeous! 🙂

    1. Thanks Beth. Happiest of holidays to you!

  25. I MADE IT TODAY
    and it was delicious!

    This recipe is going into my recipe book. 🙂

    1. Perfect. So happy you like it Thao!

  26. Mimi @ Culinary Couture says:

    This is perfection! I am going to make this stat!

  27. LoverOfAnythingChocolate says:

    Oh my god, that heavenly! I want some!! You are an awesome chef, all the recipes I try from your site always turn out the best 🙂

    – By the way, do you have a yellow cake recipe?

    1. Thank you! Here is my vanilla cake recipe; it’s quite similar to yellow cake. You may leave out the sprinkles.

      1. LoverOfAnythingChocolate says:

        You mean this one?: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/03/19/easy-homemade-funfetti-cake/

      2. Yes! So sorry, forgot to link to it.

  28. Kammie @ Sensual Appeal says:

    Wow that is one big cinnamon roll.. my mom just peeked over my shoulder and says “Wow check out that giant swirl!” lol silly. But this is great. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Sally!

  29. This looks insanely good Sally! I hope you and your fiancé have an amazing Christmas!!

  30. Farah @everylittlecrumb says:

    Oh. My. God. You are killing us. Just when I thought your cinnamon rolls couldn’t get any better!

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