Who doesn’t love a cinnamon roll?  The only thing better than a cinnamon roll full of ooey-gooey, cinnamony brown sugar and butter is this Colossal Cinnamon Roll topped with a generous schmeer of vanilla-flecked cream cheese frosting.  Hey, it’s a cinnamon roll, not health food.  It’s not like you’re going to bake this every day, so you may as well go for it.  As my man often says, if you’re going to be a bear, be a Grizzly!  And this fun to make – and eat – Colossal Cinnamon Roll is the Grizzly Bear of cinnamon rolls!

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A few tips:

Equipment:

If you have a bread machine, this recipe makes use of the super-handy dough cycle.  Otherwise, you can make the dough by hand or use a heavy-duty stand mixer, kneading the dough for several minutes and allowing to rise an hour or so before shaping.

A Word About Yeast

You will see that I specifically call for SAF Gold yeast.  SAF is a fabulous brand of yeast which is inexpensive and increasingly easy to find, especially online.  SAF Red is “all purpose” and SAF Gold is specifically suited to sweet breads like this where the sugar actually impedes the yeast’s activity.  If you only have “regular” bread machine or “instant” yeast, that will be fine.  The dough will just take longer to rise or not rise as much.  Curious about different yeasts and how they work?  Here’s an excellent article on Yeasts in the King Arthur Flourish Blog.

Make it Your Own

Using a blend of bread and all purpose flours gives a nice balance between soft and fluffy and chewy.  You can use only all purpose flour, but you will need to make sure the dough is well-kneaded.

The spices I use are my faves and just a suggestion.  My love of cardamom knows no end.  Use your favorites – cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, Apple Pie blend, whatever says “cinnamon roll” to you.

Vanilla Bean Paste is a vanilla extract with a gel-like consistency and full of vanilla bean seeds.  You can use it interchangeably with regular vanilla extract.  I love to use it in frostings like this because the vanilla bean seeds look pretty!  If you don’t have it, just use regular vanilla extract.

Here’s What You Need to Make a Colossal Cinnamon Roll:

For the Dough

  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. yeast, preferably SAF Gold

For the Filling

  • ¼ cup butter, room temp
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

For the Frosting

  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Here’s What to Do

Make the Dough-

In bread machine add all dough ingredients and run the dough cycle, checking to make sure dough forms a soft, cohesive ball.  Add a bit more flour or water if necessary.

When cycle is done, pat and roll dough into a 10” x 14” rectangle.  In a small bowl, mix filling ingredients.  Using an offset spatula or butter knife, spread filling evenly over dough.

Form the Roll-

Cut dough into 6 long strips.  Spray inside of 9” round cake pan with baking spray (or grease with shortening).  Take one dough strip, roll up cinnamon roll style, and place in center of prepared pan.  Take the remaining strips, one by one, and wrap them around the center roll – building one continuous cinnamon roll.

Colossal cinnamon roll dough in pan

Let rise in a warm place until roll doubles (45-60 mins).  If things start to get wonky, don’t be afraid to gently “smoosh” things around to keep the cinnamon roll in a nice shape.  As you can see below, things got a little wonky and I had to smoosh the center back as best I could.  Yeast is a living thing and it does what it’s gonna do!

Colossal cinnamon roll dough in pan after rising

Bake and Frost-

When the rising time is almost up, preheat oven to 325.  Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until well browned and done in the center – 30-35 minutes.  You may need to lightly tent with foil the last few minutes to allow center to cook before edges get too brown.

Let cool in pan 10 minutes.  Turn out onto a cooling rack, and immediately reinvert onto a serving plate.  Let cool to room temp.  Whisk together frosting ingredients and dollop/spread over the top.  If frosting is too stiff for your liking, whisk in a tsp. or so of milk till you get the desired consistency.  Slice into wedges to serve.

Colossal Cinnamon Roll with Cream Cheese Frosting

Not going to lie to you, although I did put a wedge of this in the freezer to enjoy later, the man and I took down the rest of it in a day.  You know, yeast breads ARE best eaten the day they are made… ; )

Enjoy,

Elizabeth

PS – If you’d like to enjoy a treat like this guilt-free, here are some tips to cut down on the sugar you consume while still enjoying the occasional Colossal Cinnamon Roll.

Colossal Cinnamon Roll with Cream Cheese Frosting

A fun, XL Cinnamon roll made for sharing!
Author Elizabeth at thewildolive.org

Equipment

  • Bread Machine

Ingredients

Dough

  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. yeast, preferably SAF Gold

Filling

  • ¼ cup butter - room temp
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 additional tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

Frosting

  • 3 oz cream cheese - softened
  • 1 Tbsp butter - softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt

Instructions

  • In bread machine add all dough ingredients and run the dough cycle, checking to make sure dough forms a soft, cohesive ball. Add a bit more flour or water if necessary.
  • When cycle is done, pat and roll dough into a 10” x 14” rectangle.
  • In a small bowl, mix filling ingredients. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, spread filling evenly over dough. Cut dough into 6 long strips.
  • Spray insides of 9” round cake pan with baking spray (or grease with shortening). Take one dough strip, roll up cinnamon roll style, and place in center of prepared pan. Take the remaining strips, one by one, and wrap them around the center roll – building one continuous cinnamon roll. Let rise in a warm place until roll doubles (45-60 mins).
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until well browned and done in the center – 30-35 minutes. You may need to lightly tent with foil the last few minutes to allow center to cook before edges get too brown.
  • Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn out onto a cooling rack, and immediately reinvert onto a serving plate. Let cool to room temp.
  • Whisk together frosting ingredients and dollop/spread over the top. If frosting is too thick for your liking, whisk in a tsp. or two of milk. Slice into wedges to serve.