Giant Cinnamon Roll with Cream Cheese Glaze

Follow these steps at home to make one giant cinnamon roll with cream cheese glaze! Perfect for weekend brunch, the layered slices taste like a cinnamon roll meets pull-apart bread. The sweet and tangy cream cheese glaze puts this soft and pillowy cinnamon roll cake over the top! Recipe yields one 9-inch cinnamon roll.

Giant Cinnamon Roll

Tips for Cinnamon Roll Success

  • Room temperature ingredients – Yeast needs a warm environment to thrive, so bring milk, butter, and egg to room temperature before baking. Room temperature ingredients incorporate more easily into the dough and also keep the dough at the right temperature for optimal rising.
  • Don’t over-mix or over-knead the dough – Mix the dough with a stand mixer just until the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is smooth and soft. Knead the dough on low speed for 3 minutes or just until smooth and elastic. You can tell you’ve kneaded dough for too long when it starts to feel dense and becomes difficult to stretch.
  • Brown sugar-cinnamon filling – The filling is softened butter layered with brown sugar and cinnamon. You can use light or dark brown sugar in the filling. I recommend Vietnamese cinnamon (also known as Saigon cinnamon) for a rich and sweet flavor.
  • Flavor variations – For a citrus twist, add some fresh orange zest or lemon zest to the filling (or cream cheese glaze). If you’re a Nutella fan, fill the roll with softened butter and chocolate hazelnut spread, similar to Nutella star bread.
  • Baking pan – Use a 9-inch pie dish or cake pan. You can also use a 9-inch springform pan (bake on a preheated parchment-lined baking sheet).
  • Baking time – It can be a bit tricky to know when this cinnamon roll is fully baked, so use a digital thermometer. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden and the internal temperature reaches between 195°and 200°F.
  • Let roll cool before topping with glaze – Allow the roll to cool for at least 30 minutes before glazing (this prevents the glaze from melting off the rolls and into the pan).
Giant Cinnamon Roll

How to Make One Giant Cinnamon Roll

Combine 2 cups (280 g) flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a large mixer bowl. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds until incorporated.

Heat milk for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until very warm (120-130°F). Add warm milk, butter, and egg to flour mixture. Mix on low speed for 25 seconds until combined. 

Mix in remaining 1 1/2 cups (210 g) flour on low speed for 20 seconds, just until incorporated and a soft dough forms.

Knead dough on low speed for 3 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Place dough in a large bowl coated with nonstick spray and cover with plastic. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.

Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle. Spread top of the dough with softened butter, then sprinkle with brown sugar-cinnamon filling mixture.

Press filling into dough with a rolling pin. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough rectangle into six strips.

Roll up one strip into a coil and place it in the center of prepared baking dish (this is the center of the giant cinnamon roll).

Continue spiraling the strips around the center roll, until you’ve used up all the strips. If any of the brown-sugar cinnamon filling falls out, sprinkle over the top of the roll.

Cover giant cinnamon roll loosely with plastic and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. 

Bake roll in the center of the oven for 35 minutes, until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 195°F to 200°F.

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Drizzle or pour cream cheese glaze over warm roll before slicing into wedges and serving.

Baked giant cinnamon roll on wire cooling rack

Make Ahead Cinnamon Roll

To make the cinnamon roll ahead, assemble the roll in a baking dish and cover tightly with plastic. Let rest in the refrigerator overnight (up to 16 hours).

On baking day, let the roll come to room temperature and rise on the counter or in a warm place until doubled in size (about 30 to 45 minutes). Bake as directed.

Storing Tips

Store leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Re-warm in a warm oven (325°F) or in the microwave for about 15 seconds before serving.

To freeze baked cinnamon roll (unglazed), cool roll to room temperature. Tightly cover the entire pan with a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil. Freeze baked roll up to 2 months.

When you’re ready to heat, defrost the roll at room temperature (still covered to prevent condensation from forming). Warm roll in the oven at 350°F for 15 minutes, or until heated through. Top with cream cheese glaze and enjoy!

Giant Cinnamon Roll

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Giant Cinnamon Roll

Giant Cinnamon Roll with Cream Cheese Glaze

  • Author: Laura Kasavan
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: One 9-inch cinnamon roll
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
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Description

Follow these steps at home to make one giant cinnamon roll with cream cheese glaze! Perfect for weekend brunch, the layered slices taste like a cinnamon roll meets pull-apart bread. The sweet and tangy cream cheese glaze puts this soft and pillowy cinnamon roll cake over the top! Recipe yields one 9-inch cinnamon roll.


Ingredients

Dough

  • 3 1/2 cups (490 g) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 package (7 g) instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (3 g) salt
  • 1 cup (240 g) low-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg (50 g), at room temperature

Filling

  • 5 Tbsp (70 g) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp (4 g) ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 1/4 cup (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 oz (113 g)  full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp (4 g) vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 Tbsp (45 g) buttermilk or heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Make dough: Combine 2 cups (280 g) flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a large mixer bowl; mix on low speed for 30 seconds until incorporated. Heat milk in a microwave-safe measuring cup for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until very warm (120-130°F). Add warm milk, butter, and egg to flour mixture and mix on low speed for 25 seconds until combined. Mix in remaining 1 1/2 cups (210 g) flour on low speed for 20 seconds, just until incorporated and a soft dough forms.
  2. Switch out the flat beater for a dough hook, and knead dough on low speed for 3 minutes or until smooth and elastic. The dough is ready when it feels tacky but doesn’t stick to your fingers (if necessary, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time while kneading – see note below).
  3. First rise: Place dough in a large bowl coated with nonstick spray and cover with plastic. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
  4. To check if dough has doubled, lightly flour two fingers and press them down into center of dough. If indentations remain, gently press down dough; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Use a pastry brush to coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie dish or cake pan with softened butter.
  5. Assembly: Turn dough out on a lightly floured board and roll into an 18 x 12-inch rectangle. Spread dough with softened butter. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl; sprinkle over dough and press gently into dough with rolling pin.
  6. Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into six equal strips (each strip will be approximately 2-inches wide). Start with one strip and roll it up. Place filling side up in the center of prepared baking dish (this is the center of the giant cinnamon roll). Take the next strip and spiral it around the center roll. Continue assembling this way, starting each strip at the end of the previous strip, until you’ve used up all the strips.
  7. Second rise: Cover loosely with plastic and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. While the cinnamon roll rises, preheat oven to 350°F.
  8. Bake giant cinnamon roll for 35 minutes, until golden and the internal temperature reaches 195°F to 200°F. Tent with foil to prevent overbrowning if necessary. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.
  9. Make glaze: Beat butter and cream cheese in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until smooth. Beat in salt and vanilla extract. Gradually mix in powdered sugar on low speed until combined. Mix in buttermilk (or heavy cream) 1 tablespoon (15 g) at a time, until glaze can be poured or drizzled. Drizzle or pour glaze over warm cinnamon roll before serving (save any extra glaze in the refrigerator to serve with leftovers).
  10. Store leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Re-warm in a warm oven (325°F) or in the microwave for about 15 seconds before serving.


Notes

Extra flour: Feel the texture of the dough with your fingers before adding any additional flour. The dough should feel tacky (but not sticky). I very rarely need to add any additional flour during the kneading process.

Cream cheese glaze: Save any extra glaze tightly covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator to serve with leftovers the next day.

Make ahead: Work up to step 6. Cover the cinnamon roll with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 16 hours. On baking day, remove the chilled roll from the refrigerator and let rise in a warm place until puffy (about 45 minutes). Bake as directed.

Keywords: Giant Cinnamon Roll, Cinnamon Roll Cake, Cream Cheese Glaze

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4 Comments

  1. Love this recipe, my cinnamon roll turned out perfectly. The photos were so helpful, will be making this again soon!

  2. My kids and I made this for Easter brunch and it turned out so well! Incredibly delicious, fun to make, and great to make ahead (we followed the overnight directions). The glaze was a huge hit too!