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

297 Comments

  1. Hi Sally,
    This was divine – my kids were asking for more for days after we ate it (it was gone almost instantly)! When I made it there was a lot of cinnamon sugar on the rolled out dough and when I tried to move the strips to wrap them in the baking dish I lost a lot of it – so i ended up rolling it on the counter and then trying to unroll it in the pan to give it some growing room…any advice on a better way to achieve the roll without losing the cinnamon sugary goodness?

    1. Hi Shirah! I’m so glad you tried this cake. I actually mention that in the recipe and the post. That some of the cinnamon sugar will fall off. You can’t avoid that. I typically just sprinkle it back on top of the cake before I let it rise. If you found you lost *too* much, just use less filling next time and sprinkle some cinnamon + sugar on top.

  2. Hello Sally –

    I’m new to your site as of a few days ago and I am in love! I tried your Snickerdoodle Cookies (Amazing!) and this Cinnamon Roll cake and they were both simply amazing! My Giant Cinnamon Roll came out looking just like yours and it tasted divine! My husband is loving it all and I’m baking faster than he can eat these goodies! This recipe is perfection and the dough came out so soft and chewy! Thanks for the great recipes! You’ve got a new follower in me and I can’t wait for your new cookbook to come out!

    1. I’m so glad you are enjoying my blog and recipes Keyler! This cinnamon roll cake is one of my very favorites. I need to make it again soon! Thanks for being excited about my cookbook. That means a lot!

  3. Hi Sally,

    How long does the Cinnamon Bun cake keep for?? I am dying to make it for my partners birthday, so wanted to make it Monday evening, would this still be ok for wednesday evening? would it be best to keep in an air tight container until then?

    Thanks! x

    1. Hi Olivia – the cake is best enjoyed the same day, but will remain fresh covered tightly for up to 4 days at room temperature or in the refrigerator. For best taste though? Make it the day that you want to serve it.

      1. I am making this for a birthday breakfast party.  Could I let it rise (the second time) overnight and bake it the morning of the party? Has anyone tried this?

  4. Hello Sally,
    I’m normally more of an observer on blogs but after making your AMAZING Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake, I had to tell you how much I loved it.
    You’ve definitely inspired me to be more creative in what I bake (although there isn’t anything wrong with always bringing choc chip cookies to every social gathering in my opinion!!)
    My roll was slightly too brown but my mum, dad, aunty, uncle and I devoured it a few minutes for brunch.
    So thank you for the inspiration and for making me feel slightly less alone in my obsession with sprinkles.
    Kay-Lea

  5. Hi Sally,

    Made this for my husbands birthday (today). What can I say…. Absolutely delish!!!! Everyone loved it. Great recipe!! Will definitely keep this for the future!!

    Thanks!!! 🙂

  6. Hi Sally, About a week ago I pinned your Giant Cinnamon Roll on my board on Pinterest. The next day I decided to give it a try following your directions exactly as you say . Well my family loved it it was delicious I’ve been making one almost every other day they just won’t get enough Thank You so very much for sharing this recipe with everyone.

  7. Loved you Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake! I made to celebrate my oldest getting his next belt in karate. 🙂 I made a couple of adjustments that you may be interested in as it makes is healthier and WAY less rising time. Proof 1 T yeast ( i use Fleischmann’s active dry in jar) in the 1/2 c warm water w/ 1 T honey ( not sugaar) FIRST. Then add warmed milk, 2 Tbsp honey ( not sugar), 3 T olive oil ( not butter) to proofed yeast. Add the dry ingredients w/ egg and 1/4 c flax meal. Mix, knead as directed. Let rise 30 minutes. Roll, do filling, Roll cake as directed. In warmed oven, only rise 30 minutes. It will be more than doubled in size by this point if not earlier. ( not 60 -90 min) Proofing the yeast first makes a big difference. Mine only baked for 25 minutes and was done. also, I used Organic White Wheat flour. A healthier, super yummy, less time version. I hope you try it and see what you think. 🙂 I make all of our bread for my family of 7. ( including sandwich bread) I always have very quick rises with proofing yeast first. 🙂

  8. Hi Sally! I’m going to make this cake for Sunday and I’ve got a question :)! I can’t find dry yeast, so can I use fresh yeast instead?
    And– I’m not sure I’ll have time to make this on time, so I was thinking about doing this on Friday… so what is best, to bake it and then freeze it, or to freeze the dough? Thank you ♥!

    1. Definitely bake, then freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator and warm up in the oven for a few minutes. I’ve never had luck freezing this dough.

  9. Hi- for the “overnight” instructions ….. are you sure about letting it rise for 12 hours at room temperature with a raw egg in the dough??? With the rapid rise yeast? I’m thinking it will over- rise then collapse ….Have you done it this way yourself?

  10. Mmm… so good! Skipped some of the niceties and made this pareve (non-dairy) for our weekly Shabbat dinner. Blogged it over here – I think it turned out, if not as beautiful as yours, absolutely delicious. Thanks!

  11. Hi Sally!

    I’ve just stumbled across your website early this morning…it’s now 1:11! Where has the time gone?! Time to get lunch ready!
    I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your cinnamon roll cake recipe with us! Been living abroad in Italy now for over 11 yrs and although the Mediterranean diet is pretty amazing, there are a few cracks in the path that need filling I’ve found, and this recipe will do the job for now as sadly, Cinnabon does not exist here 🙁
    Had a read through your Bites of real life and about you and I have to say I’m impressed with what you’ve done in such a short amount of time. Congratulations on your successful 1st cookbook! May you have many more success stories to tell us ;-D

    1. Thanks Andria! This comment was so sweet to read this morning. I appreciate the congrats! And I think you need to try out this cinnamon roll cake as soon as you can! Happy you came across my website and are loving the recipes so far!

  12. Hey so just wondering… if I wanted to prepare this dough the night before so that I don’t have to wait so long for it to rise in the morning could I just do both rises the night before and then leave it in the fridge overnight to bake off in the morning or should I just do the first rise the night before and roll it up and do the second rise in the morning? …Any suggestions?

    1. Oh I apologize I just saw your note at the bottom of your recipe…I must have missed that the first time I read through this recipe 🙂 …I can’t wait to stun my family with this!

      1. Hey Jessica – happy you saw that note at the bottom of the recipe. Enjoy this giant cinnamon roll!

  13. Hi Sally!
    I’m trying this recipe for my boyfriend’s birthday this week (he is a huge cinnamon roll lover and my lab rat for all the recipes I’ve tried from your website (meaning he is a very happy lab rat)). I meant to ask you, can I doubled this recipe to use a 13 inch pan? and when you say the dough can be freeze over night through step 5 do you mean to freeze it already assembled in coils?

    Thank you! have a great sunday 🙂

  14. Hey there,

    I was wondering if you could use the Pilsbury cinnamon roll dough for this instead of making your own. Has anyone tried this? I’d appreciate any thoughts!

  15. What if you made a spread for the filling from the butter, sugar and cinnamon and spread it on? I made this today following the recipe and like others, lost a lot of sugar. It works fine if you sprinkle it on top, but I think I’ll try making a spread for the filling next tome. This tastes just like my homemade cinnamon rolls that I’ve been making for years, but less work, faster and less cleanup. Love it! I make my glaze using softened butter, powfered sugar, milk or cream, and maple flavoring.

  16. i just made this and let me say… my mother in law is lucky i have some restraint!!!! i will be making one for me!!!! thank you sally!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Hello! I made this last week and was such a hit that now my sister wants me to make it for her birthday! If I made the dough and then popped it in the fridge, how long can I keep it in there for before I have to take it out? Just wondering if two days in the fridge would be okay!!

  18. Making this now but I didn’t lose any sugar. If your butter isn’t room temperature it won’t stick as well. I put the butter on like a thin frosting then I sprinkled the sugar on and gently pat the “dry” areas with a flat hand until everything darkened and absorbed into the butter, sprinkling more sugar mix on any areas that needed it until it was covered. Hope that helps!

  19. Hi! your temptingly beautiful photography and decadent recipe has inspired me to test this cake out. Thanks for the inspiration!

  20. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I love the baking dish that you cooked the cinnamon roll cake in. Can you please tell me where you got it from if you don’t mind?

  21. I made this tonight and it was delicious! I did a happy accident where I accidentally mixed the butter, cinnamon and sugar all together. Well it worked out great. I just spread it on and lost no filler and it tastes exactly the same! Thank you for keeping me occupied on what should have been my due date! Looks like baby gained a couple more ounces tonight before she makes her debut!

  22. Hi Sally!
    i couldn’t find Red Star Platinum Yeast but I did find Red Star Baker’s instant dry yeast so should I still use 2 and 1/4 teaspoon? Thanks!! Will be doing this for my boyfriend’s birthday. Its my first time baking bread so Im really nervous. Love your recipes! They are all so awesome!

  23. Hi! I’ve been dying to make this for my fiancé, but all I have is your standard 9″Pyrex pie dish… Do you think that will be deep enough? And do I need to worry about adjusting oven temp/baking times?
    (Love your blog and recipes, btw.)
    Thanks!

  24. I’m so mad at myself. I made two cakes (only have small dishes) and I didn’t wrap them tightly enough for the second 15 minutes so they are too brown. I have to throw away at least one half of one of the cakes. I will suffer through the rest, lol. Otherwise this is a fantastic recipe. Thank you so much!!

  25. When I made this the second time, I used a tiny rolling pin to lightly press the cinnamon onto the pieces, and I lost less of it when I did the transfer. The cake came out beautifully. It was delicious. Lasted about 2 minutes at a business meeting!

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