Giant Cinnamon Roll

I’ve stumbled onto something big. Pun completely intended.

Giant cinnamon rolls. The process is a bit more unique than simply doubling the size of the cinnamon roll and I’ve fallen in love with the method because it is quirky, fun and results in a fabulously delicious cinnamon roll (think: lots of buttery, gooey, cinnamon goodness).

I’ve made these mammoth cinnamon rolls five or six times in the last couple of weeks and they are going to be the star of our upcoming Christmas morning. They fair beautifully well shaped in the pan and refrigerated overnight to be baked the next morning (with a little rising time in there) and the orange-infused cinnamon version? Oh my. Heavenly. Beyond.

I’m just hoping this newfound giant cinnamon roll creativity will still allow me to be satisfied with the average cinnamon roll. For now, these humongous cinnamon rolls are making a definite appearance in my past, present and future (hopefully not taking up permanent residence in my already growing thighs, but that is yet to be scientifically verified since I currently have a baby excuse to ride on).

Oh, and P.S….Merry Christmas! I hope you have a wonderful. merry weekend and I’ll see you back here next week with a few laid back recipes to be happy about (and for those of you caring enough to show interest, I’ll also have some really fun baby gender news to share which we’ll be opening Christmas morning).

Giant Cinnamon Roll

Giant Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: Makes two giant 8-inch cinnamon rolls

Giant Cinnamon Rolls

Notes: I often use half to 3/4 finely ground white whole wheat flour with good results - and sometimes I get crazy and use 100% whole wheat flour (always finely ground white wheat) but the bread is a bit more dense with 100% whole wheat flour. If using part or all whole wheat flour, add a few minutes to the kneading time to help develop the gluten.

Also, the rolls below are for an orange-infused cinnamon roll. Beyond delicious. If you prefer traditional cinnamon without the orange flavor, simply leave out the orange zest in the filling and omit the orange zest and juice from the glaze, adding more milk for perfect consistency. You can also use the buttermilk cream cheese glaze from this recipe.


  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, warm (here is a guide for making your own buttermilk)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 1/4 cups (21 ¼ ounces) flour (see note)
  • 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • Filling:
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 large orange (about 1 tablespoon zest)
  • Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon milk


  1. For the dough, whisk the warmed buttermilk and butter together in a large liquid measuring cup. Combine 3 1/2 cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt together in a standing mixer fitted with dough hook (or you can use a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon or electric handheld mixer). With the mixer on low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and eggs and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Increase the mixer to medium speed and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (knead for 15-18 minutes by hand). If after 5 minutes of kneading, the dough is still overly sticky, add a tablespoon or two of flour at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but has a slight tacky feel when pressed between your fingertips. (See this tutorial for a visual.)
  2. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover the top tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, around 2 to 2 ½ hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and orange zest in a small bowl until well mixed and set aside. Spray 2 round 8-inch baking pans with cooking spray and set aside.
  4. When the dough has risen, gently punch down and roll into a 16X12-inch rectangle. Spread evenly with the softened butter. Top with the cinnamon sugar mixture, evenly pressing the cinnamon/sugar gently into the butter. Starting with one of the long edges, roll the dough tightly into classic cinnamon roll form, pinching the edge to seal.
  5. Using a serrated knife (see pictures below for a visual), slice the dough in half lengthwise. Gently take one length of dough and coil it around in one of the prepared baking pans. The layers will want to fall apart a bit, but don't stress too much, when it bakes to perfection, you won't notice if it was a little messy going into the pan. I put my baking pan very close to the length of dough and gently lift about four or five inches of the dough into the pan and then coil the rest around itself. Repeat with remaining length of dough (placing it inside the other prepared pan).
  6. Lightly cover the cinnamon rolls with greased plastic wrap and let them rise until doubled. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake the rolls for 18-22 minutes, until lightly golden on top and cooked through. While the rolls are baking, whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth. Remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven and using a spatula, nudge them out of the pan onto a cooling rack set over waxed or parchment paper or onto a serving plate. Drizzle the glaze over the cinnamon rolls. Slice the cinnamon rolls into pie-shaped wedges and serve warm.


Make-Ahead Note: Each time I've made these, I've shaped them in the pan, covered them with greased plastic wrap and refrigerated them overnight. I pull them out 3-4 hours before baking and then bake them as directed once they have doubled in size.

Recipe Source: method inspired from this post, dough, filling and glaze adapted from my favorite Buttermilk Cinnamon roll recipe

55 Responses to Giant Cinnamon Rolls {with step-by-step photos}

  1. Cat says:

    These are awesome! Yummy, cinnamon-y goodness! We aren’t big on orange flavors so I omitted that. I cut circles of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of my pans, coiled the dough on the paper, then lifted the paper into the prepared pans with the coiled dough on it. It’s easier of me to work when I don’t have “walls” 🙂 One we glazed, the other got the cream cheese frosting treatment. Both were delish! Thanks Mel!!!!

  2. Ket says:

    Oh Mel, these are so good, I just can’t stop making them !

  3. Ketz says:

    I would love to make these, they look delicious…even better than regular cinnamon rolls and I love cinnamon rolls ! Only…i’m not a fan of orange flavour…do you think I could make these without the orange zest/juice in the filling and glaze ?
    Thanks a lot for all your recipes, they are awesome…and happy New Year =)

  4. Wendy says:

    Another hit from Mel’s kitchen! My girls and I made these super cinnamon roles for a super Daddy today for Father’s Day. Yumm-O! We all agreed we need this to be a Father’s Day tradition! Thanks!

  5. Wendy says:

    Another hit from Mel’s kitchen! My girls and I made these super cinnamon roles for a spur Daddy today for Father’s Day. Yumm-O! We all agreed we need this to be a Father’s Day tradition! Thanks!

  6. Leanne says:

    Another successful batch of larger than life delicious cinnamon rolls were made today! Mel, your recipes are amazing! These are such a huge hit in my household. We’re stuck inside with freezing rain so I had to make my own buttermilk, but they still came out wonderfully! 🙂

  7. Brittny says:

    Thank you so much, made these yesterday w/o the orange and they are amazing! This recipe is so simple to follow, we make so many of your recipes, thank you so much for all of your hard work!

  8. michael says:

    Oh wow, those look so delicious…I love any thing with cinnamon. I have tried many a cinnamon recipe but always mess up the dough.

    Did you have any problems make the dough? any suggestions or tips?

    Michael 🙂

  9. Andrea says:

    Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. Andrea says:

    Hi, Mel! I LOVE this site and recommend it to everyone I know! About the rolls… delicious, but mine leaked a lot of the cinammon sugar out to the bottom of the pan. What can I do differently or is that how it goes? Thanks for your help!

    • Mel says:

      Andrea – rolling as tightly as possible helps, as well as making sure the butter isn’t overly soft or melted that you use as the filling. Either way, though, when I make this giant roll or regular cinnamon rolls, they leak a bit of cinnamon and sugar on the bottom – some will be normal, at least in my experience. If it seems like all of it is leaking out, keep an eye on your butter temperature and try rolling as tightly as possible.

  11. Momzie says:

    You have solved a pondering I have had for a couple months. The grocery store down the street sells these only they have the danish cream cheese topping on them or apple filling or strawberry…… I’ve wanted to make it for us but couldn’t figure out how to get a cinnamon roll that big. The ones at the store are 12 inches so I’ll have some experimenting to do. 🙂 Thanks again.

  12. […] I have to say I have a fabulous cinnamon roll recipe, but when I saw GIANT Cinnamon Rolls on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe I had to give these a try. They are WONDERFUL! The recipe called for orange zest, but I left it […]

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  14. Auntiepatch says:

    I made these for Christmas morning and they are truly amazing! It was very easy and well worth the effort! Yummy!

  15. Cinnamon Rolls Two Ways | Sweet and Saucy says:

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  18. Teryl says:

    Truly delicious!
    I made two pans on Christmas eve–one for the freezer and the other for Christmas morning. They were wonderful!
    And I love the new presentation as a humongous cinnamon roll! Very pretty.
    Will definitely be keeping this recipe and making for special occasions.
    Thanks so much for sharing the recipe and for the great instructions.

  19. Robyn says:

    I made these on New Year’s Day – they were amazing! My first time making a homemade dough (besides cookies) – it was super easy! Thanks for the great recipe! It’s definitely a keeper, and a crowd pleaser 🙂

  20. […] Eating the scrumptious giant cinnamon rolls I made from a Mel’s Kitchen Cafe recipe.  I LOVE her […]

  21. Kristi John says:

    Melanie, is it bad that I made these for dinner tonight for my crew? 🙂 Thanks for the fabulous recipe! All my kiddos are anxiously waiting for the oven timer to ding. Congrats on the new little lady too!

  22. Lauren at Keep It Sweet says:

    Giant and when it comes to cinnamon rolls, perfection!

  23. grace says:

    neat idea, mel! as much as i adore cinnamon rolls, i might be tempted to look at one roll as one serving… 🙂

  24. Nathalie says:

    Either I’ve missed your announcement or you haven’t done so yet, which I don’t blame you holidays are a busy time of year, hoping to hear the news soon! 🙂 Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

  25. Jackie says:


    Can I use this recipe to make regular size rolls.

  26. kyleen says:

    This is such a genius idea! I’ve made regular sized cinnamon rolls before; next time I’m going to try making a giant one. Happy Holidays.

  27. susanne says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your little family! I want to thank you so much for all of your efforts. I faithfully follow you blog and just want to let you know your hard work is much appreciated!

  28. Paula B. says:

    Yay baby news and giant cinnamon buns! Have a wonderful holiday, looking forward to the recipes next week!

  29. Stacy says:

    These sound delicious! Merry Christmas to you and your family, and thanks for the enjoyment of your site, absolutely love it and have told so many of my friends and family about it. Congratulations on your new little one to come and so exciting to find out the gender on Christmas. What a special present!

  30. Chris says:

    Yummmmm. I’m going to be dreaming about these cinnamon rolls!

  31. Catherine says:

    Oh my, this is genius! I love cinnamon rolls, but all the cutting can be a pain. I am going to have to try this! Now the only question is, do I abandon the Ultimate Sticky Monday Bread I was planning to make in favor of this delightful beauty? How will I ever decide?!?

    And I can’t wait to hear your news!

  32. Jamy says:

    I was planning on making the vanilla cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning, but not anymore! I love the idea of coiling the dough. It will be much easier to let my kids help with this recipe! Can’t wait! Merry Christmas and congrats on new baby. 😉 Use your baby excuse to eat: my daughter is 4 months old and I’m so sad I can’t use that excuse anymore!

  33. Kathryn says:

    Ok, first, I love the rolls. Second, I think that we are due at about the same time with our babes! I found out today what we are having…. So if you are finding out around now, you must be due in early to mid May. My due date is May 13th, but I know that that is off so I am going with early May or late April! So cool that we are expecting at around the same time….
    Merry Christmas to you and family! Many blessings to you!! 🙂

  34. melanie peterson says:

    are you kidding me mel? I groaned out loud when Jolyn told me we all have to wait until after Christmas to find out what you are having….:) can’t wait to hear!!
    p.s….I am cooking lots of recipes from your blog for Christmas day!

  35. Elizabeth says:

    Looks great! And I love the photos.

  36. Lesli Dustin says:

    I was just wondering what I’d make for the kids’ Christmas breakfast. I ordered a stollen from a bakery but figured some of the kids would balk at the almond paste so maybe I’d make cinnamon rolls…and here they are! Perfect!

  37. JoAnn says:

    I will definitely be trying these! And giving as gifts in the future if they turn out for me. 🙂 I echo what a few of these others said: thanks for all your hard work on this blog! I have been so grateful for these recipes and a lot of my meals reflect that! Merry Christmas!

  38. modernworkinggirl says:

    Oh yummmm! This brought me some Christmas cheer 🙂

  39. Kim in MD says:

    Oh Mel- this recipe is OUTRAGEOUS! I have said it before and I will say it again a million times…your tutorials are the best! I love your make ahead tips, too! Have you ever frozen these cinnamon rolls? Do you think you could freeze them unbaked?

    I am so excited to find out your baby’s gender, and I think it is so sweet that you are unwrapping this “present” with your husband and boys on Christmas morning! I don’t know how I am going to wait until Monday to find out! 😉 Merry Christmas, Melanie!

    • Mel says:

      Kim in MD – I actually just made these (again!) last night and frozen them for Christmas morning. My plan is to take them out Christmas Eve to let them defrost/rise for about 8-10 hours before baking on Christmas morning. I think they will bake up just fine, mostly because I’ve used the same base dough (Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls) to make individual-size cinnamon rolls and have frozen those with great success. Merry Christmas! Thanks for all of your support!

  40. Melanie says:

    These look amaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing! I am definitely going to try these as soon as I can!!!

  41. Lisa Hansen says:

    Congrats on the baby! I can’t wait to hear what you’re having… maybe there is some pink in your future 😉 The recipe looks amazing! I was just thinking to myself the other day that I’d like to try a cinnamon roll with orange for the holidays so I will definitely be trying this one out! Thanks for sharing!

  42. Rhonda says:

    What a grand way to make cinn rolls! Congratulations
    on the baby! And Merry Christmas to your family !

  43. Stefani says:

    These look amazing. We were just talking about having orange rolls on Christmas morning. I can’t wait. Just one question…What’s the conversion for using dry active yeast?

    • Mel says:

      Stefani – if you want to use active dry yeast, increase the amount to 1 tablespoon, and proof the yeast in the warm buttermilk with a pinch of sugar until it is foamy and bubbly before adding to the dry ingredients (so don’t put the yeast in with the flour).

  44. Judith B. says:

    Merry Christmas, Mel and family….and fellow blog readers.
    Not bias, but I hope the good news = it’s a girl!!
    Thanks for your delicious recipes and the sharing of yourself.

  45. Leigh Anne says:

    Wow!! Looks so yummy I’m drooling on my computer 🙂 Thanks for all of your hard work on the blog. I really enjoy it and always have a good place to come for tried and true recipes. How fun about your gender news on Christmas morn. Always wanted to do that but haven’t had my babies where it would work out….fun! Can’t wait to hear!

  46. tonya says:

    Looking forward to hearing your NEWS!!! What a sweet Christmas gift for you & your family! Have a wonderful celebration ALL DAY LONG!!

  47. Deanna says:

    Thanks for all your recipes! I just made your Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon Rolls, and they are in the freezer ready to take out for Christmas morning. So how do these ones compare to those?

    • Mel says:

      Deanna – I love the Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon rolls, too. The dough is actually very similar to these buttermilk cinnamon rolls – super soft and supple. I make the buttermilk ones more often because I don’t keep instant pudding on hand anymore, but either recipe is delicious, in my opinion. You could easily use the Vanilla PUdding roll recipe for this Giant Cinnamon Roll variation.

  48. Jaci says:

    I am making these Christmas morning, off to the the grocery store!! I generally don’t comment, however I wanted to thank you for your dedication to your blog. As a young mother you have helped me with dinners and holidays for many years now. Thank you for having the heart to serve and share with others. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  49. I’m not believing you made these! Wow – the step-by-step instructions are awesome – very cool!

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