Bet you can’t eat a whole one

I  really ought to stay off the internet. Really. Last weekend I opened my news feed and one of the first things I saw was a video of the largest, most luscious-looking cinnamon rolls I’d ever seen. I might have drooled on myself. The rolls were the size of a dinner plate and at least a couple inches high. A baker at heart and a lover of all-things-I’m-not-supposed-to-eat, the self-imposed challenge was on. Could I make something similar?  I had to know.

First, a little background. Our family tradition on Christmas morning has long been scrambled eggs, sausage, orange juice, and Cinnabons. Supplying the full calorie count for the remainder of that week, the “meal” can stand on its own. Regardless, tradition is tradition. We all know that you don’t mess with tradition according to Brubaker in the same movie (although for mess, he used a choice F word. We won’t go there). You get the idea.

My mind was made up; I had to know. It’s October and Christmas is around the corner.  Could I make a giant, gooey roll? Might they rival our coveted Cinnabons?

Turns out, the rolls in the video were made at a bakery in Texas. Isn’t this where everything is big? Bigger? Biggest? Indeed, the place lures the customer with three pound rolls! It is fascinating watching the baker use giant slabs of dough, buckets of filling, and gallons of cream cheese icing. How many calories can one burn from handling mass amounts of dough (as I try to offset the inevitable)?

I didn’t want three pounders, but at this point, there was no going back.

baking_giant cinnamon rolls_oct 2017 (45)The dough was very easy. With little effort it rose beautifully and I had to take it out long  before I sometimes do given the result. As this was in the works, I started on the filling.

baking_giant cinnamon rolls_oct 2017 (46)

baking_giant cinnamon rolls_oct 2017 (44)

Is it possible to use too much cinnamon? I think not.

baking_giant cinnamon rolls_oct 2017 (43)

It can be slightly warmed for easier spreading; either way works

I have never been able to roll out a perfect rectangle. Ever. I tried spreading the dough into a well-greased 9 by 13 inch pan with great results. I did this for each half of the dough. Then, on went the filling.

baking_giant cinnamon rolls_oct 2017 (42)This appears to be a lot of filling, right? It is. I doubled the amount. I can’t really tell you why except that it seemed right. The amount in other recipes seemed insufficient for the amount of dough.

Once the dough was fairly covered, I sliced it into three lengths and rolled them into rolls. My pizza cutter worked great.

baking_giant cinnamon rolls_oct 2017 (41)

One “length” makes one large roll

Striving for giants, this amount of dough made six large rolls. Can anyone really eat a whole one?!!?

baking_giant cinnamon rolls_oct 2017 (40)Almost immediately they started to rise. I put them back into my warm* oven for the second rise. It took about 15 minutes.

baking_giant cinnamon rolls_oct 2017 (36)

I made three with raisins, three without

While I waited for the final rise, I made the cream cheese icing.

baking_giant cinnamon rolls_oct 2017 (56)

Seems especially sinful. 🙂

Before I knew it, the rolls were done. There are no words to describe the aroma. I don’t indulge like this often; I soaked it up. We’d avoided lunch to make room….

baking_giant cinnamon rolls_oct 2017 (55)…and they didn’t disappoint. Not by a long shot. In flavor and consistency, they rivaled our favorite Cinnabons. The dough is gooey, the filling very rich, and the icing perfect.

baking_giant cinnamon rolls_oct 2017 (52)

Not exactly dinner plate size…but close.

And it’s true. Neither of us could eat a whole roll. They are too rich, too filling, too sweetly dense…just what one expects from the perfect cinnamon roll. I set mine aside after the first few delicious bites. I tried later in the day but still could not finish. It took me three tries to finish one, over the course of one day.

Can you finish one at one sitting?




  • 2 C whole milk (Whole milk makes for a very rich dough)
  • 1/2 C sugar, 2-3 tea sugar for the proofing
  • 1/3 C butter
  • 2 tea salt
  • 2 packages active dry yeast (~ 4 1/2 tsp)
  • 2/3 cup warm (105-115-degree/bath water warm) water
  • 8-9 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Combine milk, sugar, butter and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over low heat until butter melts. Low heat works best. If it’s too warm, you may scald the milk and it may kill the yeast. I find it best to heat slowly to avoid having to wait for the mixture to cool.

2. Dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water. “Bath water warm” has always worked for me. Cover with a towel and let stand several minutes. You’re in business if the yeast has bubbled. If not, start over.

3.  Combine the flour and milk mixture in a large bowl. Beat slowly until well mixed, scraping the sides of the bowl. Add yeast mixture and beat until mixed well.

4. Add eggs and mix well.

5. While it’s temping to add all of the remaining flour, don’t. Add enough to make a very soft dough. This part just takes experience. Imagine a gooey cinnamon roll. Gooey dough makes gooey rolls. When it’s ready, it will start to pull away from the sides of the bowl yet remain sticky. Too much flour results in a dense roll.  Cover and let rise in well-greased pan inside oven. I use a pan of boiling water underneath the pan of rolls in the oven. No oven heat is necessary.

6. When dough has risen, punch down and divide in half.

7. Spread one half of dough in well greased 9 by 13 baking pan. Spread half of filling mix over the dough. Add raisins and pecans or both if desired. Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough into three lengths and roll up. Place each roll on a well-greased baking sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough to make six large rolls.

8. Let rise in warm oven until the rolls are touching each other, or are the desired size. This took about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or longer as these rolls are large. I stopped at 20 minutes, covered with foil, and baked an additional 10 minutes.


1/2  C  butter, slightly warmed
1  C  brown sugar (firmly packed)
4 T cinnamon (I used 4 T total, not 8 T)
Mix well and set aside. Remember, I doubled the amount written above for this recipe.


1/2 C butter, softened
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/8 tea vanilla
pinch salt
1 pound powdered sugar
1 T milk, added slowly by the teaspoon
Add in order and mix well.

baking_giant cinnamon rolls_oct 2017 (50)I may not survive these Texas-sized portions, I most definitely should stay off the internet, and I’ll bet you can’t finish a whole one in one sitting.

Oh, but it’s worth a try. Let me know how you do.

  21 comments for “Bet you can’t eat a whole one

  1. November 25, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Oh my goodness!!! These look divine (I’ve got some low carb recipes on my blog if you need to lose some pounds now – haha) xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. October 17, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Did you intentionally make these images BIG on purpose? Well, if you did, they worked. I’m stuffed!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 18, 2017 at 11:31 am

      No, I didn’t; they come up this way and actually I had to reduce some of them in size so I could see them better while writing this post. It sure does make for one giant roll, though. 🙂 Glad you “liked” them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. October 17, 2017 at 7:10 am

    You captured my thought with “Oh, but it’s worth a try.” You gave me a wonderful few minutes with your photographs and your honest, funny words about your thoughts, recipe adjustments, cleverness (patting the dough out in pans rather than trying to roll it into a rectangle) and taking the better part of a day to eat one. Unfortunately, I’m not a baker. But I can dream, can’t I.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 22, 2018 at 1:18 pm

      Yes! You can and should dream. For me, I CAN only dream about these now. I had a dangerous bee in my bonnet that day and wanted to try something different. I am now on a low acid/low fat diet AND the FODMAP diet which means cinnamon rolls no more (at least until I feel brave enough to risk it). I am glad you liked the post. It was a lot of fun to put together (and I really did take all day to finish that one). 🙂


  4. October 17, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Wow, those look good! I’ve never had much luck making any kind of bread, but I may have to try this recipe. It doesn’t look too hard, and the results sound worth it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 17, 2017 at 7:31 am

      It’s very easy, Ann, especially since the dough is gooey. Some recipes that call for more flour are harder to work with; not this one. In my former life as a young cook, I never had luck with yeast breads. But, years ago one of the kids teachers made yeast rolls in class and on her cheat sheet she wrote “bath water warm” for the water temp and I’ve never had trouble since. I test it on the inside of my wrist and never use a thermometer. And, if the yeast is proofed, you will have no trouble. Let me know how they come out. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. October 17, 2017 at 6:21 am

    Can’t wait to make these. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 22, 2018 at 1:10 pm

      Hi Jen…and did you make them? How did they turn out?


  6. October 17, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Wow, these look sinfully wicked and oh so delicious. I’m not sure how I’d go making them but I sure could handle eating one. Now, if only you were a bit closer Karen. 🙂☕️

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 17, 2017 at 7:25 am

      Hi, Miriam. Yes, they are all of the above, and highly caloric, too. 😉 The dough is very easy to handle and if your yeast is current and you’ve proofed it, you are good to go. Next time you’re in town, I’ll have a batch ready! 🙂 With coffee. ❤ (Still trying to catch up; I'm not sure how you do it. So much to read….). Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

      • October 17, 2017 at 1:31 pm

        Oh, I’ll hold you to that Karen! ☕️ By the way, I’m barely keeping up myself! Don’t worry about it though, we do what we can. Keep smiling 🙂 xo

        Liked by 1 person

  7. October 16, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    Oh my goodness, those look criminal! My mouth is salivating. I haven’t made cinnamon rolls in years. My mother found a recipe that made the dough in the bread machine which helped since she had little hand strength for kneading. But I could never eat just one. We have always done Grandmother’s (paternal side) banana bread every Christmas morning. I’d like cinnamon rolls better. Yummm. Thanks for sharing the recipe. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 17, 2017 at 7:23 am

      Hi, Marlene. Yes, criminal is a great word for these rolls. I don’t hand knead either, I use my kitchen blender and it does all that hard work for me. Plus, with this dough, it’s pretty gooey so all that hard kneading does not happen with this recipe unless too much flour has been added. If you make them, let me know how they came out. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • October 17, 2017 at 4:09 pm

        I will let you know. I’m not supposed to eat good stuff anymore. Not fun.

        Liked by 1 person

        • October 18, 2017 at 11:37 am

          Me, too, but once in a while I do. Life here just got trickier with the addition of our son’s girlfriend. Her dietary restrictions are the opposite of our daughter-in-law’s. One is lactose intolerant; the other drinks whole milk. One is allergic to egg, soy, corn, and barley; the other to pork. Neither can eat wheat. I’m not sure there is anything left….but, we try. My new challenge is to make “the good stuff” but with non-traditional ingredients. Good thing I like to cook and bake. 🙂 Have a great week!

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Amy
    October 16, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    I will resist these—too dangerous! Your Texas comment made me chuckle. We went out to brunch yesterday, and the menu described the French toast as “Texas style.” We were perplexed—did it mean with BBQ sauce or something? We asked the server, and said,”It’s bigger break. Everything in Texas is big.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 17, 2017 at 7:20 am

      Yes, and imagine those three pounders that bakery sells! They fill the entire dinner plate. How can one body tolerate the calorie count, let alone the sugar shock sure to follow!? We had fun with it and I’ll definitely make the dough again (but with less sugar) as it was a standard dinner roll recipe. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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