There will never be anything in my house, for a special day requiring a special breakfast, that compares to my favorite giant cinnamon rolls.  They are the ultimate indulgence, and everyone’s choice for Christmas morning, or any other special occasion! And the thing is, they’re NOT THAT HARD.

Our Favorite Giant Cinnamon Rolls www.lillieeatsandtells.com

How to make the best giant cinnamon rolls

All you’ll do is make a gorgeous bread dough in your Kitchenaid, (or by hand!) let it rise for a bit, roll it out, slather with butter and cinnamon-sugar, slice, and fill your pan! Let ’em rise till nice and full, and bake!

Our Favorite Giant Cinnamon Rolls www.lillieeatsandtells.com

The best glaze for your cinnamon rolls:

So I feel like there are two schools of thought.

a. The thicker the frosting the better.

b. A simple glaze will do.

I’m going to be honest. I thought I was team A for sure! Until I experimented a few times with this recipe and discovered that a blanket of cream cheese glaze, that melts into all the nooks and crannies is PERFECTION. The roll is so buttery and decadent already, I felt like a thick frosting just became too much. This glaze ALMOST seems like it won’t stretch far enough, and then it DOES.

Having said that, feel free to make a little extra glaze if that’s what your heart is telling you to do!

Our Favorite Giant Cinnamon Rolls www.lillieeatsandtells.com

Are these Cinnamon Rolls Macro-Friendly?

NOOOOO.

Haha. And I hope you don’t trust anyone who tries to make you try a macro-friendly recipe. Just make baked oats or eat a protein bar as your macro-friendly treat. Macro-friendly cinnamon rolls would be a SIN.

SIN-amon rolls. HA.

Because they most definitely would not be cinnamon rolls. It’s just not possible.

Our Favorite Giant Cinnamon Rolls www.lillieeatsandtells.com

How to make the best cinnamon rolls ahead:

Ok so first, I do feel like they are always the best when I make them same day. But you will never see me waking up at the crack of dawn to get these baked in time for breakfast. So either we have our cinnamon rolls later in the day, OR we use one of these two methods:

1. Make cinnamon rolls days ahead and freeze to halt the rise

Make them in advance, even days ahead. Get them to the point where you’ve got them cut into rolls and placed on the pan. Cover and freeze them before you let the rolls rise. If your freezer can’t fit your sheet pan, you’ll need to break them into a couple of different pans at this point.

Remove from the freezer the night before you want to bake them, place the pan of the frozen rolls on the counter and let them thaw and rise overnight. From my experience they needed at least 8 to 10 hours to rise from frozen, but you might want to check on them a little before that to be sure! When you can tell they’ve risen substantially and are nice and puffy and touching each other, pop them in the oven and bake!

If they look like they’re not rising fast enough in the morning, you can place them in a barely warm oven (heat to 200 and then turn OFF) to help get them going.

2. Make cinnamon rolls the night before and pop in the fridge to slow the rise

I’ve also made them Christmas Eve and then placed the whole pan, before letting them rise, in the refrigerator overnight. Pull them out the next morning and let them rise longer on the counter if needed. Or preheat the oven right away for baking if they’re already puffy! The only risk here is I don’t know how long they will last in the fridge before they rise too much and fall. I’ve only done this when I made them late at night and got them in the fridge after 10 pm. I pulled them out around seven and preheated the oven and they were ready shortly after to bake!

Our Favorite Giant Cinnamon Rolls www.lillieeatsandtells.com
Our Favorite Giant Cinnamon Rolls www.lillieeatsandtells.com

My Favorite Giant Cinnamon Rolls

These are the epitome of Christmas to me. Or any super special morning. Our favorite giant pillowy cinnamon rolls! Adapted from letsdishrecipes.com
4.93 from 28 votes
Author Lillie
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 12
Calories 501 kcal

Ingredients

For the Rolls

  • 2 cups whole milk (really any milk will work!)
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 cups flour

For the Filling

  • 1/2 cup +2 tbs softened butter
  • 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 tablespoon ground cinnamon

For the Glaze

  • 2 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbs melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 tbs milk
  • 2 oz cream cheese or greek yogurt cream cheese works great!

Instructions

  • Microwave milk for 2-3 minutes until it’s bubbling.  Pour the milk into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
  • Add the butter, sugar and salt. Mix on low speed until the butter is melted. Let the mixture cool until warm but not hot. Add the yeast and eggs and mix until combined.
  • Gradually add about half of the flour. Switch to dough hook attachment and add the rest until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. Knead for 2-3 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough to a large bowl sprayed with nonstick spray. I like to spray a fine mist on the top of the dough too so I can cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Let rise until doubled, about one hour.
  • Roll the dough into a large rectangle, (horizontal in relation to your body) about 18×12 inches. Spread softened butter over the dough.
  • Stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the dough. Pat it in slightly with the palms of your hands.
  • Starting with a long end, roll up the dough as tightly as possible, pinching the seam lightly to seal.
  • Using a serrated knife, cut a shallow slit in the roll at the half point, then cut a slit in the center of each half so you’ve got 4 equal portions, and cut slits for 3 cinnamon rolls in each of those portions … until you’ve got 12 cinnamon rolls.  I like to do shallow slits to make sure they’re even before I cut all the way through.  Cut with a gentle sawing motion.
  • Place the rolls evenly spaced on a large, parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Cover and let rise until double.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 24-26 minutes until light golden brown.
  • For the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla, milk, and cream cheese until smooth.  Drizzle over warm rolls.  It almost seems like it won’t be enough but it’s perfect!

Notes

The nutrition facts include 1/12 of the glaze… but I usually choose mine and drizzle and weigh out my own glaze.  I used to think I wanted thick cream cheese frosting, but with these big soft warm beauties, a little glaze is plenty and by halving your portion, you can save yourself 10 carbs and 2 fat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1giant cinnamon roll with 1/12 of the glazeCalories: 501kcalCarbohydrates: 71.1gProtein: 5.8gFat: 22.7g

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About the Author

Hello. My name is Lillie. I’m not a registered dietitian, or a macro coach, or a public figure or culinary genius. I’m a mommy of four who FOUND macro-counting and fell in love with this balanced approach to food...

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Oh my! Lillie!! So good! So easy! And come out perfect! I questioned adding eggs as I’ve never done eggs in a cinnamon roll recipe. But I’ve never not had a good recipe from Lillie. So glad I tried it! This will be the go to recipe! Thank you!

    1. Also, I have to add. I made these the night before. Then stuck in fridge overnight for the 2nd rise. Brought them out a couple hours before cooking and AMAZING!! Made for my daughter’s Birthday breakfast request. She loved them!

  2. 5 stars
    These are delicious! The dough is so nice to work with. I did make a double batch of frosting the second time I made them and it is too much.

  3. 5 stars
    This was the first time I made these amazing cinnamon rolls. So easy made them Christmas Eve and baked the next morning. I can’t say enough about these rolls. My family raved about them and will make them every time they come home!

  4. 5 stars
    These came out amazing! I started the dough only to remember that my dough hook had chipped and I had tossed it- so I kneaded by hand. I usually use my bread machine to make my dough but it only holds 5 cups of flour and I didn’t want to test it. The recipe was super easy to follow (like most of Lillie’s), and came together quickly! These are double the size of my usual buns so my kids were excited. I thought they’d never compare to my normal go-to recipe, but these just replaced it. Even having to knead by hand, this is my new staple recipe. They’re not too sweet, the dough is so soft, and icing is perfect. Thanks Lillie!

  5. The best, fluffiest, perfectly balanced rolls of flavor and joy in every bite. This has been my go-to ONLY cinnamon roll recipe for several years now and I’m never steering in any other direction! Lillie, thank you for sharing this divine cinnamon roll recipe!!!

  6. 5 stars
    Officially becoming part of our Christmas Day tradition and just general go-to cinnamon rolls – because omg they’re AMAZING!

  7. On the icing recipe you say “Greek yogurt cream cheese” works too. I’ve never heard of that. Do you mean just Greek yogurt? Thanks!

  8. 5 stars
    The BEST cinnamon roll recipe I’ve ever made! We devoured these and I loved being able to make up a few days in advance and freezing! They rose overnight beautifully! The perfect Christmas morning breakfast!

  9. 5 stars
    The BEST recipe! I am wondering how to keep the leftovers though? Thanks for sharing! I will make them every year for Christmas!

    1. They actually freeze great! We wrap in foil! Sometimes if we have enough to make it worth it., I’ll whip up a little more glaze to bring them back to life after thawing and warming in the microwave .,

  10. 5 stars
    I just made these and they are AMAZING!!! My son has an egg allergy and substitute the eggs with 2 tbs of evaporated milk and they came perfect!

  11. Have you ever tried this with gluten-free flour? I have one child that’s gluten free but if I can sub it in, or if you have other suggestions, it would be appreciated!!!

  12. Voted BEST cinnamon rolls we’ve ever had! Still basking in the glow of how delicious these were. Thank you for this recipe!

  13. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe several times. Literally every single time I have had people ask me where I got the recipe and tell me it’s better than cinnabun or it’s the best cinnamon roll they have ever had. Every single time!

  14. 5 stars
    So good and easy to make. Even the rolling out and bun forming went smooth with this recipe.

    Huge, fluffy, delicious.

  15. 4 stars
    These really are giant and yummy. It’s worth noting that the filling should probably be with SALTED butter…I used unsalted and it was too sweet. I know cinny rolls are supposed to be sweet and decadent, but they needed a little cut. Lillie, do you usually use salted butter?

  16. 5 stars
    So easy and so delicious! Made these a couple days in advance and froze them to make a Christmas morning. Family absolutely loved them.

  17. 5 stars
    For anyone wondering about making these ahead…I made these last night. I put them in the fridge after rolling and slicing, covered with plastic wrap. I took them out and let them sit on the counter for about 2 hours this morning – enough time to let them get to room temperature and rise a little before baking. They turned out perfectly delicious! Huge hit on Christmas morning!

    1. Angie,
      Does this mean that you did the first hour rise before rolling them out but skipped the second rise that she says to do after they are rolled out and sliced?
      Thanks!
      Aline

      1. Yes. I do the first rise, then roll, cut, place on the pan and put in the refrigerator overnight. Take them out in the morning and let them come to room temp/rise a little before baking.

  18. 5 stars
    I make this recipe every Christmas with my family and it is one of the many sweet traditions I cherish during the holiday season.

  19. 5 stars
    These cinnamon rolls are fabulous. They’re also amazingly not that hard; the directions are clear and easy to follow. Great for birthday breakfasts!

  20. 5 stars
    These are wonderful. We’ve made them the day before and frozen the dough, letting it thaw and rise by morning and made and cooked them the same day. Deadly delicious.

  21. 5 stars
    I have always been afraid to make cinnamon rolls. But these were so easy… and so delicious!! They are absolutely wonderful and worth every bite!

  22. i MADE THESE FOR BREAKFAST FOR CHRISTMAS AND THEY WERE A HIT. DEFINITELY WORTH THE EXTRA CALORIES AND I’LL BE MAKING THESE AGAIN FOR SURE!

  23. I made these once (years ago) and they were phenomenal! But I cannot figure out what I did wrong tonight. I made it twice and both times the dough was SO sticky. It never came away from the sides of the bowl even when I added gobs of extra flour (which is why I started over). I accidentally added active yeast instead of instant, could this be why? I didn’t have any issues with rise though… help!

  24. This is now requested by my family every holiday.

    Question Lillie: if I were to make 24 smaller rolls out of the same amount of dough, how long should I bake it for? I’m still thinking 350, but maybe at 20-24 minutes instead?

    Thank you!

  25. YUM! I made this, the only thing I did different was I used coconut milk and dairy free cream cheese in the frosting for someone in our house who is sensitive to dairy (does fine when it’s baked, so I left the rolls alone.) Love, love, love!

  26. Could you do the first eight steps the night before, put the cookie sheet in the fridge overnight, let them rise the second time in the morning and then bake them?

  27. I’m not a great baker, but I made these rolls and they were PERFECT!! These cinnamon rolls really are the best and I don’t ever have to shop around for another recipe!! YAY!!! Wondering if you could make ahead and still have a yummy warm roll for breakfast??

  28. Thank you for this article!! i have just started macro counting and some days I just want to give up and binge and just go back to my old comfy ways.

    Seeing someone talk about it and saying it’s worth it does help! I do feel better and it’s exactly as you’ve said, it’s about EATING SMARTER! So that we CAN fit in that dessert 😉 and then it becomes a treat 🙂

  29. I love these cinnamon rolls! Today is my first time making them with a stand mixer. When it says knead for 2-3 minutes, does that mean by hand or with the hook attachment? Thank you for all of the delicious recipes!!

  30. Made these again but increased the cinnamon to 2 Tablespoons. I love Cinnamon and thought it needed a smidge more. This recipe is so easy to follow. The frosting is also amazing I typically don’t love cream cheese frosting but I couldn’t even notice it was in there, it just tasted rich and delicious!