This giant cinnamon roll recipe is made with the most delicious soft dough, cinnamon-sugar filling, and a tangy cream cheese icing. Ready to go in one hour from start to finish!
- 1 cup milk (I used 2% milk)
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant (“rapid rise”) yeast
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
Cream Cheese Icing:
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1–2 tablespoons milk (if needed)
- Heat the milk and butter. Combine milk and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave* on high for 1 minute, then remove and stir. Continue heating in 20 second intervals, pausing after each to stir, until the butter is melted and the milk is warm to the touch but not hot. (It should be around 110°F — I recommend measuring the temperature with a cooking thermometer.) If the mixture is too hot, just wait a few minutes for it to cool.
- Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar and salt until combined.
- Mix the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough-hook attachment (or see note below to mix the dough by hand), add the warm milk mixture and sprinkle the yeast on top, then give the mixture a brief stir. Add the flour mixture and egg, and beat on medium-low speed until combined. If the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, add more flour (up to an additional 1/2 cup), until the dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (Use no more than 3 1/2 cups of flour total.) Continue beating for 5 minutes on medium-low speed. Remove dough and form it into a ball with your hands. Place it in a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let the bowl rest for 10 minutes.
- Mix the cinnamon-sugar filling. While the dough rests, make your filling by whisking together the granulated sugar, brown sugar and ground cinnamon together in a small mixing bowl until combined.
- Roll out the dough. Once the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured work surface. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 12 x 18 inches in size. Use a knife or an offset spatula to spread 1/4 cup of softened butter out evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Then sprinkle the dough evenly* with the cinnamon and sugar filling, and gently press it into the dough.
- Wrap the giant cinnamon roll. Use a pizza cutter (or a knife) to slice the dough into six 2 x 18-inch strips. Gently roll up the first strip and place it in the center of a greased 9-inch cast-iron pan or pie plate.* Matching up the ends, add the second strip of dough and loosely wrap it around the first to create one large cinnamon roll. Repeat with the remaining strips, transferring the cinnamon roll to the pan once it gets too large to handle, and then finish wrapping the final strips in the pan. (See video for a demonstration. Also, don’t worry if some of the cinnamon sugar filling spills out.)
- Let the dough rise. Cover the dish with a damp towel, and leave it in a warm place to rise for 25 minutes. Heat the oven to 350°F.
- Make the icing. While the dough is rising, whisk together the cream cheese icing ingredients in a mixing bowl until smooth. If it seems too thick, add in an extra tablespoon of milk at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. If it is too thin, add in extra powdered sugar.
- Bake. Once the cinnamon roll has risen, uncover the dish. Place on the center rack of the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cinnamon roll is golden and cooked through. Remove and let cool on a wire rack for at least 5-10 minutes.
- Frost. Spread your desired amount of icing evenly over the top of the cinnamon roll. Slice it into wedges and serve warm, drizzled with extra icing if desired.
Stovetop option: If you do not have a microwave, you can just heat the mixture on the stove over medium heat in a small saucepan.
Kneading the dough by hand: Alternately, you can stir the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for 5 minutes until smooth.
Skillet/baking dish: You are welcome to use any oven-safe skillet or baking dish that you prefer here. The recipe is designed to fit well in a 9-inch round pan, but it should also work just fine in a slightly larger or smaller pan too.