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Why make a batch of cinnamon rolls for a crowd when you can make one giant roll that everyone can share? This big roll looks impressive, but it's not a difficult task—if you've made cinnamon rolls before, this isn't much different. You can use up any leftover cranberry sauce from holiday dinners in the pink glaze, which isn't so fruity it denotes that classic cinnamon roll flavor. If you need to make part of this ahead of time, let the dough rise ahead of time, then transfer to the fridge to chill overnight. In the morning, remove it from the fridge and let stand 15 minutes before continuing with the rest of the recipe. 


Credit: Jen Causey; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Kay Clarke

Recipe Summary

40 mins
3 hrs 40 mins
Serves 10 (serving size: 1 slice)


Cinnamon Roll


Instructions Checklist
  • Prepare the Cinnamon Roll: Cook buttermilk, butter, salt, and 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until butter just melts, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool to 100°F to 110°F, about 15 minutes.

  • Stir together warm water, yeast, and remaining 1 teaspoon granulated sugar in a small bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

  • Place buttermilk mixture, yeast mixture, and eggs in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Gradually add 3 3/4 cups of the flour, beating on medium-low speed, until a soft dough forms and pulls away from sides of bowl but still adheres to bottom of bowl, about 3 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding up to remaining 1/2 cup flour, about 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed (dough should be tacky, but not sticky). Place dough in a bowl lightly coated with cooking spray, turning dough to grease top. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  • Roll dough into a 20- x 16-inch rectangle on a lightly floured work surface. Stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, and zest in a small bowl. Sprinkle mixture over dough, pressing gently to adhere. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough lengthwise into 8 (2-inch-wide) strips. Starting at a short end of 1 dough strip, roll up dough to create a tight swirl. Stand swirled dough piece on work surface, swirl side facing up. Wrap a second dough strip around the swirled dough piece, continuing the swirl pattern. Repeat process with remaining 6 dough strips, creating 1 very large swirled dough piece (the Cinnamon Roll).

  • Transfer Cinnamon Roll to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet lightly coated with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F.

  • Uncover Cinnamon Roll. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil; continue baking until center is cooked through and springs back when poked gently with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool 5 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, prepare the Glaze: Beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, cranberry sauce, milk, and zest with an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.

  • Drizzle Glaze over warm Cinnamon Roll. Serve warm, or let cool completely, about 1 hour.