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.

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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
  • 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

339 Comments

  1. So good It was my first time  making it , smells wonderful too!! can’t wait for my boyfriend to taste it in the moorning .,  thanks for your recipe ! Xxxxx

  2. I made this today .I was really good.Thank you for sharing your recipes.

  3. Hello! I’m a big fan of your recipes, and I made this one for the first time tonight. It tasted great, though it wasn’t nearly as pretty as yours, haha. That’s often an issue for me. 🙂 I have a couple questions about the glaze. First, my glaze didn’t turn out white like yours; the vanilla extract gave it a brownish hue, instead, which was a bit unsightly. Do you know how I could remedy that in the future? Second, what’s the purpose of sifting the confectioners’ sugar? I didn’t do it because I don’t have a sifter, but I’m wondering what I missed out on by skipping that step. Thanks for your help. And thanks for your beautiful blog. 

  4. YOU DON’T ANSWER YOUR E-MAILS, WHEN YOU ARE ASKED A QUESTION ABOUT A RECIPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHY? THERE ARE THINGS PEOPLE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW BEFORE TRYING A RECIPE!

    LET’S SEE IF YOU ANSWER THIS ONE!

    1. Hi Jimmi Sue, I’ve never received an email from you before. Could you kindly ask your recipe question here? Or re-send to my email address? Here it is: info(at)sallysbakingaddiction.com

  5. My question was not for the Cinnamon Roll recipe, but for your Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. It was… Can I bake this cake in a Bundt or 9×13 layer pan? I don’t like to mess with layer cakes. I never received an answer.

    1. Hi Jimmi Sue! I did not receive that email, but let me answer here for you! You can make my red velvet layer cake into a bundt cake. I wouldn’t change a thing about the recipe except for obviously using a bundt pan. I’m unsure of the exact bake time.

      1. Lol! You were so very kind in your response, considering someone “SCREAMED” at you .
        Gotta love people though… am I right?

  6. Hi Sally!

    I have been reading your blog for a while now and I am seriously obsessed! I have tried countless recipes, and never failed well maybe just once or twice but let’s blame the oven for that… anyways I do have a question which is… 

    How do you get your vanilla maple glaze so white? This is something I have wondered forever, as all my glaces/frostings turn to some other color… after I put in the vanilla extract. 

    Please tell me how to avoid this as I bake quite a lot and just love it, but I’m a perfectionist and want every little thing to be perfect.

    xx

    1. It’s a clear version. You can find it in most supermarkets.

      1. Thanks for this – I’ve always had a similar problem, great to know I can fix it! 🙂

  7. This recipe is one of the easiest Cinnamon Roll recipes I’ve found. It comes out perfect every time. I do a different filling, just because I like brown sugar/cinnamon in mine. I was nervous at first because it did only rise slightly, however, the second round of rising is easy as with your 200 degree off oven trick. One question though, if you let something rise too much, will it dry out when it bakes?

  8. hi Sally,i am excited to try this recipe out!
    do you think I could add pecans to the syrup on top? just for a bit of extra crunch?

    1. Absolutely!

  9. OMG…this was such a showstopper! The golden, chewier outside contrasted so nicely with the ever-so-slightly underbaked, gooey inside. It was so easy, too! I used Fleischmann’s instant yeast and mine only needed 50 minutes to rise and 22-25ish to bake for some reason. I wish I could get the scent as it baked made into a candle, too….

  10. Hi! Have you ever tried freezing this cake?

    1. Sure have! I simply thawed it in the refrigerator overnight and heated it back up in the oven. It’s great in the freezer for up to 3 months, give or take.

  11. When you freeze unbaked I see you still bake for 10 minutes before freezing. Does this mean you only bake for 20-25 minutes after it sits in the fridge overnight?

    1. Correct– you’ll bake for the remaining time.

  12. I found that I needed more than 1/2 cup of flour as a reserve when kneading the dough and the dough was somewhat tacky. Has anyone experienced this? 

  13. Mary In Arkansas says:

    I made the sticky bun cake. I don’t have an 8” Pam so I used my 9” one. Of course the roll didn’t fill the pan. My bad. Also, the cream cheese mixture calls for 1/2 c milk. I used 1/4 cup and it was still very runny. I had 1/2 cup of the cinnamon butter mixture left over. Next time I will use softened butter instead of melted. Still tasted good. Now for what to do with all those bread crusts. Suggestions? Mary In Arkansas.

    1. Hi Mary, Glad it still worked in the larger pan and tasted good! You can certainly use less milk for a thicker frosting if you wish!

  14. Step 5 says to look at the visual of the cut strips.. Am I the only one who cringed a little at the thought of cutting on the silpat mat? If I want to roll it out to cut on something else, should I use parchment or wax paper? Does it need to be floured or what should I do to prevent it from sticking?

    1. I cut on my silpats all the time with pizza cutters and cookie cutters!! You would have to push down with tremendous force to damage them.

  15. Pamela Hickey says:

    If you wanted to prepare this the night before to bake it fresh in the morning, would you follow the instructions for freezing except… don’t freeze it? LOL. Like bake for 10 minutes and then leave it in the fridge overnight and finish baking in the morning?

    1. Hi Pamela! I’ve actually done that before with no issue at all. Keep it covered tightly in the refrigerator overnight.

      1. Pamela Hickey says:

        Awesome, thank you so much for responding so quickly!

  16. I only have an 8 inch or 10 inch pan. What pan do you think would work best?

    1. Hi Tanya! I recommend using your 10 inch pan.

  17. Hi Sally,
    The pan in the picture looks almost like a deep pie pan. Would a pie pan work? (My pie pan looks prettier haha)

    1. Pie pans work very well, yes!

  18. Is it ok that after making the dough you can still see the yeast or should it have dissolved into the dough?

  19. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I’ve made it 5 times. It’s the only genuine cinnamon roll cake recipe that I’ve seen.

  20. I just made this absolutely delicious Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake for my wife. She hasn’t been feeling well which doesn’t happen very often in our 30 year marriage. She loved it! Thanks for the brownie points, I mean cinnamon roll points! I think I have baked something about 3 times in 30 years. Even I could make this recipe! Thanks a million!

  21. Love all your recipes and have great results with all. My comment is very positive for using Red Star Platinum Yeast! I ordered per your recommendation and then found it at my local supermarket. Now, however, I cannot find it locally so bought the regular and am very disappointed, so I just ordered on line as I miss the great quality. Thank you so much for your great recommendation!

  22. Paige Cassandra Flamm says:

    You totally read my mind with this recipe! I’ve literally been thinking about how to make something like this for months! Totally trying this asap!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

    1. Perfect timing! Hope you love this cinnamon roll cake, Paige!

  23. This is a message to other users here. If you cannot find the Sally’s videos on her pages, TURN OFF AD BLOCK!

    It was driving me nuts, because every time Sally would mention a video of a how-to-do, I could never find the video. Tonight, a little lightbulb went off. I turned off my ad block, and I watched the video.

    And thank you, Sally. I really enjoy your recipes.

  24. Do you think 2% milk could work? Thanks!

    1. Definitely. I wouldn’t use a lower fat than 2% though.

  25. This looks so delicious, Sally! Definitely tempted to make this soon. The only problem is I’m the only one in the house who loves cinnamon… although I suppose that isn’t necessarily a problem…! ;D

    1. Thank you so much, Joanna! I hope you’ll give it a try- and maybe it will convert your non-cinnamon loving family! 😉

  26. Hey Sally
    First I want to say what a great blog you have!
    This also applies to the book sally’s cookie addiction. Love it!
    My question is not about this cinnamon roll cake.
    It is about the giant M&M cookies from sally’s cookie addiction book.
    I don’t know what i doing wrong.
    The M&M doesn’t have the fluffyness and also not the light colour.
    And the time that i bake it, it is in the center to soft and it won’t get hard.
    I tried to lower the temperature of the hot air oven by 20 degrees
    It’s a little bit lighter. But still the edges to brown and the center to soft. This is on highest temperature and lower temperature. I also try to add more baking soda. This gives it not a nice taste. It is making it fluffy, but then the whole cookie is going down.

    Also how do you get the m&m in the cookie to show. It looks when i have done it, i can’t see the colors that nice. It kind of under the dough?

    I don’t know what i doing wrong. And i really hope that you can help me.

    Thank you already!
    Greetings Lobke

    1. Hi Lobke! Happy to help and thank you for asking! A few things– if the cookies aren’t browning evenly, I would double check your oven temperature. Do not add more baking soda to the recipe. Use an oven thermometer and you can read more about why they’re CRUCIAL in my Baking Tips post. (Ovens are usually off!) Likewise, the cookies could just need a few extra minutes in the oven to brown properly.

      When shaping the cookie dough balls, press more M&Ms into the tops of the balls so more will show. Or press a few M&Ms into the warm cookies right when they come out of the oven. I always do this. 🙂

  27. Hi Sally, We love cinnamon rolls so I was anxious to try this recipe. It is delicious, we had it for dessert at lunch, and super easy to make compared to making cinnamon rolls. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us. I live in the Midwest, it is cold and damp here today and cold in my house so it takes my dough forever to rise. Now I put a heating pad under my bowls/pans. It really helps create a warm environment for the rising process.

    1. Hi Marilyn! So happy you were able to try this recipe today- the perfect lunch dessert 🙂 Thanks for your positive feedback and tip about creating warm environments!

  28. It looks amazing!

    Mariya | https://www.brunetteondemand.com/

    1. Thank you so much, Mariya!

  29. Do you have any recommendations on using fresh yeast in this recipe? I generally use the fast acting but chose the wrong kind on order pick up. Now I’m stuck with how to use it! Thanks Sally!

    1. Hi Jen, This is a helpful conversion when using fresh/cake yeast: https://redstaryeast.com/yeast-baking-lessons/yeast-conversion-table/

  30. Hi Sally
    I want to make make the dough one day, but by wouldn’t be able to bake it for at least 24 hours. Is it ok to keep in the refrigerator that long?

    1. You can stretch it to that long, but I would continue with the recipe as soon as you can!

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