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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, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Christmas 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 from 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 from 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.

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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 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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.


  • 2 and 3/4 cups (344g) 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 from 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


  • 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


  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.


  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 from 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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. My 5 year old doesn’t care for cake or cookies, but wanted a special treat to share with family for his birthday. After brainstorming for weeks, I stumbled across this. I made it today, and it was a hit at his celebration this evening. Everyone enjoyed it so much it may become a tradition.

    1. I’m so glad you commented this because I was looking for something fun for the exact same reasons!

      I’m going to increase the yield and attempt a 1/2 sheet pan, smothered with a thick cream cheese frosting and sprinkles. Will update soon!

  2. I have just finished making this for the first time ( at 7 in the morning) and my goodness, this is the VERY BEST cinnamon roll recipe ever! Not only is the taste amazing (for the first time I followed the recipe to the letter). Other recipes tell you to knead for more than 10 minutes until you feel like youve been at the gym, but with only 3 minutes of hand kneading, and the 30 minute rise followed by a one and half hour rise, the giant roll rose beautifully to fill the pan all the way to the brim. No hassle with cutting the log to make the conventionally shaped rolls (for me thats always a problem, having only one cake pan to bake 12 rolls in batches), no problems at all. YAY. It baked perfectly, and I knew once I tasted it, this is the recipe! Thank you so much Sally, youre amazing! Made it in the wee hours of the morning for a surprise for my family. Im sure theyll love it :).

  3. I made this giant cinnamon roll cake for my sons birthday and it was a hit! Easy to follow instructions and it turned out wonderful! I will make this again and I highly recommend it! YUM!

  4. This came out as beautifully as the photos, it was PERFECT. I was worried about the inner rings being undercooked and the outer rings being too dry, but it was cooked perfectly. I may never make normal cinnamon rolls again. I didn’t have whole milk, so I used 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup water, which seemed to be similar. Another phenomenal recipe, Sally, thank you.

  5. I’ve always been a fan of cinnamon rolls but I’ve never tried to make a cinnamon roll cake! I just made this and it turned out perfectly! 10/10. Thanks a lot, Sally!

    1. Hi Shaina! If you follow Sally’s freezing instructions in note 2, it should turn out perfectly. Hope it’s a hit.

  6. Planning on making it but I have a quick question, would adding sour cream or buttermilk do anything to the rolls?

  7. I made this for the first time, and it turned out fantastic! I took it to church for a snack for the worship team and they absolutely loved it. I made a second batch of icing and put it in a squeeze bottle in case they wanted extra, and they appreciated that too. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe (and for making me look good too)!

  8. Good morning – we just finished enjoying this delicious recipe. I did the over-night version. I was a little worried that it didn’t fill up the dish when I took it out this morning, but while baking it puffed and spread. My kids love cinnamon rolls but this was much easier and just as tasty. Thank you.

  9. Hi Sally! I am wanting to make this for Mothers Day but would need to make the dough today. Can I make it today using the overnight directions, bake it tomorrow, and serve it on Sunday? Or would you recommend freezing it for this length of time? Also could I use the overnight directions for two nights and bake it on Sunday, because that would be the best option.

    1. Hi Claire, we’d recommend making to today with the overnight instructions, baking tomorrow, and then keeping tightly covered at room temperature until you’re ready to serve on Sunday. Feel free to warm them up a bit if you’d like, and top with icing right before serving. Hope they’re a hit!

  10. Can I use buttermilk instead of whole milk? And also, if I leave this on the counter for more then 2 hours for the rise, will it be okay? I am talking approximately 4 hours

    1. Hi Claire, you can use buttermilk instead of whole milk. If your kitchen is cool, 4 hours would be fine. You could also place in the refrigerator after 2 hours rising at room temperature to slow the rise.

  11. Just wanted to say big thanks to Sally’s effort in providing helpful tips related to yeast (i.e. proofing, rising under a “warm” area etc.)– especially helpful for novice bread bakers. Not many other sites do that!

  12. Hi! I by accident cut the strips vertically instead of horizontally, what do I do?

    1. Hi Ashley, you can continue the same way, you will just have a few more coils to wrap around than if they were cut horizontally. Let us know how it turns out for you!

  13. Fantastic!!! Worked out perfectly!! I put it together Saturday evening, covered it with plastic and put it in the fridge until Sunday morning. After 90 minutes sitting on the counter, I warmed up my oven to 150 degrees and after 30 minutes, it proofed up like I knew what I was doing…. I tented it with foil after 18 minutes and it was done completely around the 25 minute mark. Excellent!!

  14. I have tried a number of cinnamon roll recipes over the years but this was THE BEST EVER! I tripled the recipe and made one cinnamon roll cake plus nearly a dozen and a half individual rolls. This is now my “go to” recipe. I used a cream cheese icing and also your recommended icing recipe substituting the vanilla extract for fresh lemon juice. What a great find! 🙂

  15. Fun to make, delicious flavors. It’s a huge hit every time I make it!

  16. hi!! I need to make these 1 week ahead of time what do you recommend for freezing??
    thanks a lot I love this recipe!!

    1. Hi Fredel! See notes after the recipe for freezing instructions. So glad you love this recipe!

    1. Hi Beth, we can’t see why not — try adding 1/2 cup – 1 cup of raisins with the filling (to your liking). Let us know how it goes!

  17. I made this tonight for my mom’s 89th birthday! It was a very easy dough to put together in my Kitchenaid, I did add some extra flour. Although it looked really sticky, it was very easy to handle with a little flour. I added chopped pecans to filing, and I used nondairy butter and milk. It was quite easy to assemble and rose beautifully and baked just as nicely. I made an icing out of dairy free milk, plant butter, confectionary sugar, and a little plant cream cheese and iced while warm and once again when slightly cooled. It is quite stunning and I can’t wait to taste it!!

  18. AMAZING! This was incredible and so fun to make! We all devoured it 🙂 will definitely make again. Thanks for a great recipe!

  19. Instead of Christmas cookies I’ll be making 12 for friends and neighbors. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
    Quick question, would this work with almond flour? I have a neighbor who is gluten free.

    1. Hi Trisha, we haven’t tried this recipe with almond flour and it would take some recipe testing in order to ensure results. Almond flour is quite different from all-purpose flour and isn’t always a 1:1 swap. You might have better luck with an all-purpose gluten free flour like Bob’s Red Mill or Cup4Cup instead. If you give anything a try, let us know how it goes!

  20. Just made this tonight for my cinnamon roll loving husband and kids. It was a hit! My husband said he wants me to make every Christmas morning instead of the monkey bread I usually make. I’m all for it.

  21. I tested this recipe to freeze, defrost and reheat and hands down it came out perfectly. Highly recommend, was a hit!
    Thank you

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