Giant cinnamon roll

by Barry Lewis

Prep time
100 mins
Bake time
90 mins


Cinnamon sugar filling

40g cinnamon

500g butter

500g light brown sugar

Dough for rolls (make 3 batches of this)

125g butter, melted

100g caster sugar

1 sachet fast action yeast

500ml milk

700g plain flour, (200g kept to one side for kneading)

Cream Cheese Icing

1 tsp vanilla extract

250g icing sugar

250g cream cheese

2tbsp butter, melted

2 tbsp whole milk

Alright so here we go with the giant cinnamon bun attempt – a video that was actually accidentally deleted but then magically recovered through the advice of some very intelligent friends of mine! Anyhow this takes a while, but is fun and looks / tastes great! It’s fun to see the dough prove as you work through the strips! I used a 14inch wide cake pan (very big) and made 3 lots of dough, but you can adjust to your liking and may not need as much.

First up make the cinnamon butter sugar thing, this will get you in the cooking zone and doesn’t take long. Simply beat together the cinnamon, sugar and butter (room temperature or briefly softened in a microwave)… mix until a smooth consistent buttercream like mix is achieved. Cover and leave for later. It’ll firm up a bit as it rests but as you apply it later it’ll become more spreadable, you can always just give it a good old stir too.

For each portion of dough, warm up the milk in the microwave until luke warm in a large jug or bowl. Add in the butter and sugar and mix together til combined / dissolved. Add the yeast on top of this mix by sprinkling straight from the sachet onto it. Give one swift stir and the luke warm mix will get the yeast going.

A few minutes later, add 500g of the plain flour into a bowl and then gradually fold through. It will be quite a wet mixture once the flour is absorbed, but as it proves it’ll dry out a bit. Plus we need more flour for later. Mix the flour into the milk mix until combined, don’t worry if there are some lumps. Get some cling film and cover the bowl, it will double in size and grow massive so make sure your bowl is big enough! Repeat the above steps 2 more times if making 3 batches of dough like I did.

Once it has been an hour remove the cling film from the bowl and knock the air out of the dough. It will still be wet, but this is where you need to knead more flour into it, it gets messy but it’s fun! Sprinkle flour on as you go and work the flour into the dough mixture kneading and folding to make it smooth and also remove any wetness, eventually it’ll feel dryer and like a nice soft dough that can be rolled out and not stick to the worktop counter.

Roll out the dough into a big strip and then cut even sized long strips, the video shows this best as I found it good to use a tape measure to measure the tin height! Make sure the strips are as even as you can make them, then begin to spread your cinnamon butter on each strip leaving a slight gap at each end. Have a small pot of water with a pastry brush handy as you roll a dough strip up and apply a liitle water to one end, use this to help stick the next strip to it and roll through like a big carpet! Before placing any dough into the pan, please make sure that you have greased the tin too with some butter to help getting it out later.

You basically need to repeat these steps, sitting the ever growing dough scroll into the pan as you go. After you leave it for a bit you’ll notice that it proves whilst working on your other dough, that’s fine and it will help fill out the pan. Once it gets bigger wrap the dough around the scroll in the tin rather than lifting it out. With 3 batches of dough I made around 8 strips which filled the pan perfectly! Once snuggly in, let it rest for 10 minutes and flatten down a bit if anything is popping up.

Bake at 140c fan or equivalent for around 90 minutes – it should not burn but keep your eye on it, if any areas pop up during baking quickly open the oven and press down with a spatula. If it does start to catch / burn cover with foil and keep baking away. It may look done from the outside pretty early but remember that low heat has got to work it’s way to the centre!

Once done turn the oven off and leave it in the oven to cool down for ten minutes whilst the oven is off. Whilst it’s doing that you can get the icing ready.

For the icing mix the butter, milk, vanilla extract, icing sugar and cream cheese together with a spatula until smooth.

While the cinnamon roll is baking, prepare the frosting: In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, butter, milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar until smooth.

Take the cinnamon bun out of the oven and let cool for another 15 minutes or so. Then either drizzle with the icing in the pan (if slicing and serving from there) or remove from the pan, drizzle then let it set – amazingly delicious and well worth the effort! My tennis club ate most of this but we still loved it!