When I was little, whenever it was one of my siblings’ birthdays, my mom would always buy us doughnuts from Dunkin Donuts. She’d place them all on a plate and put candles in so that we could sing happy birthday to the special person. We all had our usual go-to doughnuts (my sis obviously always got the strawberry frosted with rainbow sprinkles, and would probably get the same today if asked).
But I digress. The purpose of this story is to say that my mom usually got the big cinnamon roll. It was good … like really good. So when I found this recipe for a giant cinnamon roll cake, which is basically the size of a 9-inch round cake, I remembered this memory fondly and knew this was a must.
The great thing about this cake is that it isn’t much different than making cinnamon rolls. You make the dough the same way. You cut the dough the same way. But instead of making individual rolls, you wrap each strip around the one before to make one giant spiral.
This is definitely one you need to try.
GIANT CINNAMON ROLL CAKE
Servings: Makes one 9-inch cake
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package instant yeast
½ cup water
¼ cup milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1½ tablespoons cinnamon
¼ cup sugar
Vanilla maple glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup cream
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- To bake the dough: Set aside ½ cup of flour. In a large bowl, toss the 2¼ cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together until evenly dispersed. Set aside.
- Heat the water, milk, and butter together in the microwave until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot to touch. Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and only enough of the reserved flour to make a soft dough (you may not need to use all of the reserved flour). The dough will be ready when it gently pulls away from the side of the bowl and has an elastic consistency.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 3 to 4 minutes. Form a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl (you can use non-stick cooking spray). Cover tightly and let it rest for 30 minutes. The dough will slightly rise.
- To make the filling: After 30 minutes, roll the dough out into a 15×12 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle it all over the dough. Spray a 9-inch round pan or pie dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Using a very sharp knife or a pizza/pastry cutter, cut the dough into six 2-inch wide strips. Loosely roll up one strip and place it in the center of the pan. Roll it up loosely so the dough has some room to rise. Coil the remaining 5 strips around the center roll, starting each strip at the end of the previous one to make one large rolled cake. Some of the filling may spill out as you pick up the strips. You can sprinkle that on top of the cake when you’re finished spiraling.
- Loosely cover the cake with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 60 to 90 minutes. I heated the oven to 200°F, turned the oven off, and then placed the cake inside of the oven and allowed it to rise.
- After the cake’s dough has nearly doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until lightly browned. You can cover the roll with aluminum foil after 15 minutes to avoid heavy browning if you’d like. (While the cake is baking, if some spots rise up more than other spots, it’s normal. Just remove the pan from the oven and press down on the sides with the back of a spatula that were rising more than others).
- Make the glaze: Remove the cake from the oven when it’s done. Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes. Then, right before serving, drizzle with glaze. Mix the confectioners’ sugar, cream, maple syrup, and vanilla together until smooth, and drizzle over rolls. If you prefer a thicker glaze, add more powdered sugar and then add salt to cut the sweetness. If you want it smoother, add more cream.
- Cake is best served the same day, but will remain fresh covered tightly for up to 4 days at room temperature or in the refrigerator.