GIANT Cinnamon Twists

I really should call these GIANT Cinnamon Twists.  Because they are...GIANT on flavor and size.  
Ok...wait...I'm changing the name


For some reason everything I bake turns out BIG.  
I figure that I feel better about myself eating one giant sweet roll or one giant cookies opposed to
5 small ones.

Who likes dinky cookies?  I swear I eat 10 just to feel satisfied.  

Have you ever asked someone to bring a dozen cookies to an event and they bring a dozen
quarter size cookies and a dessert plate?  WTH (heck)?  In my mind I am picturing a platter with cookies that are big enough to see.  

I'm going off again...back to the Giant Cinnamon Twists.

The sweet dough requires:  butter, eggs, sugar, salt, yeast, milk and flour.

I should mention that this is a HUGE recipe, also.  The dough will need to be mixed in at least a 6-quart mixing bowl.  That would be a large Kitchenaid or a Bosch mixer.

Add four eggs...

Beat the eggs.

While the mixer is running add the sugar.

And the salt.

In a medium size sauce pan, melt the butter


Add the milk.

Heat the milk/butter mixture to 110 degrees.

Pour the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture.

Mix well.

Sprinkle the yeast over the milk mixture.

Let it sit for a couple of minutes to soften the yeast.

I like to take a whisk to mix it in.  Sometimes I turn on the mixer and it pushes the yeast to the sides of the bowl.  So I just hand whisk.  You can do whatever...

Add 6 cups of flour.

Mix on low speed until smooth and free of lumps.

Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time beating well after each addition.

You will need 10-12 cups of flour depending on the brand of flour you are using, your humidity, etc.

The dough should be smooth and somewhat sticky.

Lightly oil a very large/HUGE bowl.

Place the dough in the oiled bowl.

Cover with a clean, dry cloth.  Let the dough rise for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Now you can see why I used a HUGE bowl.


Punch down the dough.  I just pull in the sides of the dough to the center and it begins to deflate.

Divide the dough in half.

Melt 1/2 cup of butter.  Set aside for just a minute.

In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon.

Whisk together.  Set aside for just another minute.

Roll out the dough (on a lightly floured surface) into a large rectangle about 24 inches long by 13 inches.  I got a head of myself and forgot to take a picture of the rectangle.  So sorry.

Spread half of the dough with half of the melted butter.

Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Like this.

Fold the top half of the dough over the sugar and cinnamon.

I like to take a pastry brush and brush off any remaining flour.

Cut the dough into strips.  Oh...probably a bit more than an inch...or so...depending on how HUGE you want those cinnamon twists.

Take each strip and twist the dough.

Tie the twisted dough into a knot.

Place the knot on a cookies sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or that has been lightly
greased or oiled.  I can fit 9 per baking sheet.

Repeat with remaining strips of dough.

Then repeat with the other half of dough.  You should have about 28-32 cinnamon twists.

Cover the baking sheets with a clean, dry towel and allow to rise for about 45-60 minutes.

While the dough is rising, make the glaze.

Mix 1/4 cup water with 1/2 sugar.  Add 1 tablespoon of corn syrup.

Bring the mixture to a rapid boil.  Remove from heat and let cool.

I like to push lightly on the dough, if it feels soft as a marshmallow, then it's ready to be baked.

Bake the rolls in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.

While the rolls are baking, prepare the sugar icing.

Mix 2 cups confectioners sugar with 1/4 cup of milk.

Beat until the icing is smooth and slowly drizzles off of the whisk.  If the icing appears too thick, just add a few more drops of milk.  Set aside.

By now the aroma in your kitchen is amazing.

Remove the golden cinnamon twists from the oven.

Lightly brush each roll with the sugar/water glaze mixture.

This puts a shiny glaze all over the cinnamon twists.  

By now the rolls should be cool enough to ice.  
With a fork, drizzle the icing mixture over the glazed cinnamon twists

This makes enough cinnamon twists to share.  I think that's why I make big batches.  So I can share the goodness with's the only way I can make it up to them after complaining about the size of their cookies.  

There is always one cinnamon twist that is bigger that the rest.

I eat it!


Giant Cinnamon Twists

4 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup butter
4 cups milk

3 tablespoons yeast
10-12 cups flour

1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Clear Glaze:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Sugar Glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons water

In the large bowl (6-quart) of a mixer, beat eggs, sugar and salt.  In a medium size sauce pan melt butter.  Add the milk and heat until the milk is lightly warmed about 110 degrees.  Remove from the heat and pour into the egg mixture.  Mix until combined.  Sprinkle yeast over milk mixture and let stand for about 2 minutes to soften the yeast.  Whisk into the milk mixture.  Add 6 cups of flour and beat until dough is smooth.  Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time until dough is smooth and slightly sticky or until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl while mixing.  Place the dough in a very large bowl that has been lightly oiled.  Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise until doubled in size.  About 45-60 minutes.

Punch down the dough and divide in half.  Roll each half of dough into a 24 x 13-inch rectangle.  Spread the lower half of the dough with butter and sprinkle with the sugar cinnamon mixture.  Fold down the upper half of the dough over the cinnamon sugar.  Cut into 1- 1 1/2-inch strips.  Twist each strip of dough then tie in a knot.  Place on a greased baking sheet.  Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise for 30-45 minutes.  Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and brush with clear glaze.  When the rolls have cooled drizzle with sugar glaze using a fork.

To make the clear glaze:  Add the sugar, water and corn syrup into a small saucepan.  Bring to a rolling boil.  Remove from the heat and cool.

To make the sugar glaze:  In a small mixing bowl combine confectioners' sugar and milk.  Beat until smooth and has no signs of lumps. 


  1. Thank you for your recipes, great blog:)

    plates are very cute:)

  2. You are not going to believe this!
    All I can say is great minds think alike.
    This is really close to Chocolate Babka- I saw a recipe online on SmittenKicten. And I was hoping to impress some Jewish friends I have made here who have invited me over for lunch to have some friendly Jewish-Muslim chat.
    I have never attempted bread making before and your clear instructions on the first & second rise will probably clear all misconceptions I have about it.

    Just one question: 110 degrees would be in Fahrenheit I believe. And if i don't have a temperature reader, any idea on how I can test it by just dipping the baby finger in it?

    Thank you so much.


  3. Thank you. Plates are from Williams-Sonoma.

  4. Boy, would I LOVE a recipe for great Chocolate Babka! You know I was thinking after I posted the recipe that I should give another indication for the temperature. Yes it is Fahrenheit. Just stick you finger in the milk. It should feel warm, but not hot. The egg mixture will cool down the milk slightly so that it's not too hot for the yeast. You can do this. Breads are a piece of cake. Just remember. Yeast is my friend, yeast is my friend....

    Good luck with your luncheon. it sounds awesome. I'm so jealous. Let me know when you want a Mormon at that luncheon. What a great combination - Jewish-Muslim-Mormon. We really have so much in common. Religiously speaking. I'll fly in for the occasion.

  5. Those look SO good! If I lived by you, I'd be on your porch drooling for one right now :). Ok, I'll stop being lazy & just try to make them sometime soon.

  6. Um, I think I just drooled a little . . . maybe a lot. . . . those things look soooo good!

  7. I'd love you to stop by any time Joni. I hear you should be having a baby soon. Congratulations! You better post pictures of FB.

  8. I'm so excited you posted this, I've eaten the twists, prior to rolling at your house! Love your blog Janet, I come back to recipes on it all the time.

  9. You're the best, Marilyn. Thanks so much.

  10. My kitchen is currently FULL of these... and last week I made your mint brownies... and gained several lbs.

  11. Oh no. I better start posting low cal recipes.

  12. Janet, I have made these a few times and LOVE them. I have tried to make them into a twisted loaf, to give away but I am having trouble with baking time. What would you do?

  13. A twisted loaf...what a great idea. Hmmm you could try lowering the temperature of the oven so that they bake completely. I don't know how much of the dough you are putting into the pan, but try only filling the pan 1/3 full???? Let me know what works. I wonder if making into a pull-a-part like monkey bread would work??

  14. Sorry I forgot to finish my thought. I'm thinking about lowering the baking temperature to 350 degrees instead of 375. That might solve the problem.

  15. Janet

    I am Annie from Pakistan. I like this recipe you have here. Do you think I could halve the ingredients to make half the amount? I do not have Kitchen-aid and only a pair of hands to rely on so kneading 10-12 cups of flour is going to be quite a mammoth task. If I can reduce the quantity by half, would all the ingredients reduce by half automatically? How much flour should I add? 5 or 6 cups?
    How many twists did your batch make? Thanks, Annie

  16. Yes, Annie, you can definitely half the recipe. Start with 5 cups of flour and if the dough seems sticky slowly add more flour until it is a smooth consistancy. The original recipe makes about 40 twists. Good luck.

  17. The first time I made these I didn't half the recipe and I made half the dough into dinner rolls (Um, A-MAZ-ING)Since then I usually do half the recipe, and they turn out great! But pretty much I love these things. There are few things in life that are better. :)

  18. Thank you Mayzie. Another option that my son's love: Instead of sprinkling with cinnamon & sugar try cheddar cheese then roll and twist. Great for a sandwich or hot with a bowl of soup or Chili. Yum.

  19. I have a question......After making the dough - do you have to bake them the same day??? or is their anyway to bake the next morning?

  20. OMG!!!! I am soooo happy. They turned out just like yours. I have never had anything turn out when I've used yeast. They are big, beautiful, delicious, Rolls : )
    I cant wait to share with my friends.

  21. Janet - I just wanted to say thank you again!! Last night @ 11pm I was pulling the last pan of gorgeous rolls out of the oven and talking to my mom who had recently found a recipe for cinnamon rolls and had made them several times. I made them also a few weeks ago with no success (very unhappy at wasting ingredients and time) Your site with all the beautiful pictures made me feel that surely success would happen and of coarse it did : )
    I cant wait to try other recipes
    Thank you again for sharing your time and effort with the rest of us. I'm a huge fan and will give you all the credit!

  22. You could try putting the rolls in the refrigerator overnight, covered with plastic wrap then removing and if they need more rising time, let them sit out until risen then bake. I have never tried it. Let me know if you do and how it works. Thanks.

  23. I'm so glad the rolls turn out for you. Whew that is always a relief for me. You were the baker so it was you that made them work. Thanks for the comment.

  24. Wow, thank you for you're awesome comments. Pat yourself on the back for being such a fabulous baker.

  25. Janet,

    I am DYING to try these rolls but I have a question.
    First, let me say, I am terrified of making anything with yeast.
    But, your pictorial makes it seem like I could do it, so, I am going to try!
    My question is what type of yeast do you use? Is it the instant (?) or the
    active dry yeast (?) Those are the 2 options, right? I'm just getting into baking.
    I apologize for being such a novice.
    Thanks in advance for your response!

    1. Remember, yeast is your friend. Don't be afraid. I use SAF instant yeast 99.9% of the time for baking yeast breads. If you only have active dry yeast, that's ok. Make sure you dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Let the yeast and water mixture sit for about 10 minutes. The yeast should begin to foam up. That means it's good yeast and ready to go. Just follow the instructions and you shouldn't have any problems. Good luck. You can do it!!

  26. I´m doing it right now! but i don´t think that will end well! hahahahaha it seems that my dough wont grow! tell you later!

    ps: i´m in love with you blog!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. Janet,
    I am making these tonight first time. I just hope they look as good as yours. I have made the crispy Bread and love it!! I have that sitting on my counter for the morning.

    Love your blog and receipes!! Always checking to see what else you have cooking.

    THANK YOU!!!! Tara

  28. Is it 1 1/2 cups of butter, of 1 1/2 cubes? The picture looks like cubes.

  29. Made these...oh heaven. I did use the 1 1/2 cube instead of cups and they seemed to turn out. Thanks for the yum.

    1. I can't see where I stated 1 1/2 cups. The recipe calls for 3/4 cup, so you are right 1 1/2 cubes of butter. Mmmmm now I want some.

  30. Hi Janet,
    I am looking for a recipe like this however, is there a way to substitute some potatoes instead in this? I was told and from my experience they will stay more moist for a longer duration.However, I'm not sure how to go about doing this. Any ideas?

    Also question #2:
    My hubby's family's has over 60+ members and that is only his brothers and sisters and their children. Many family members are allergic to gluten. I am really trying to find recipes, like this one, that are delicious and beautiful that I can make for them. However, we've found MOST "Gluten Free" recipes to be absolutely dreadful, hard, and dry. We've found only one boxed mix for gluten-free brownies that were absolutely delicious but I hate making anything boxed. Cooking and Baking from Scratch is the way for me and I need some help and guidance. Think you are up for the challenge?

  31. Hey Janet,
    Just wanted to let you know in case anyone else asked this question to you in the future, that freezing the rolls before letting them rise the second time worked perfectly. It took about 3 hours for them to rise when I took them out of the freezer but it was so awesome. All I had to do on the day of the shower was let them rise and cook. They were perfect. Thank you again for this recipe!!!!!!

  32. These are beautiful! I'm going to try this recipe tomorrow!

    1. Hooray! Please let me know how they turn out for you.

  33. I love these buns, I have made them about 10 times now. I always make 1/2 recipe dough and whole recipe cinnamon mixture. Usually I get about 12 to 15 buns depending on how I roll out the dough. They are easy to make the night before just put the finished buns in the fridge overnight. They need about 2 hrs rise time in the morning and then bake, fresh cinnamon buns for breakfast. This is a great fail proof recipe, thank you Janet.

    1. Thank you so much for the suggestion. I love the thoughts of baking fresh cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I'm so glad you love the recipe. Happy baking.

  34. Hi, I am back ;) This is also wonderful, we loved it so much!!! Here it is, how it came out for me :) I hope that you do not mind that I am posting your recipes (with my photos and my text), I am writing on Serbian, so that even those people who do not understand english, can try these beautifull recipes of yours :) Offcourse, I always put a link back to your site. Here it is, if you wish to see how good you taught us :)

    1. I went to your blog and your pictures are beautiful. You are a fabulous baker. Thank you so much for translating the recipe what a great service. Serbian - Wow! You are amazing. Thank you for sharing your blog and photos.

  35. Janet...thanks for all the kind words! Thank you for not being selfish and sharing your knowledge and experience with us!!!

  36. What is the best way to store the leftovers? Can they be frozen? If so, before or after baking?

    1. I freeze them in plastic containers. Don't stack them or the icing will stick. Thaw uncovered for about 30 minutes. They will be fresh and nice like the day they were baked.

  37. Looks so good

  38. Maryellen Moore5/23/14, 6:42 PM

    I LOVE this site! Thank you! Your posts and instructions are great & you're funny! Cannot wait to make this!

    1. Thank you so much. Please come back!

  39. Hello, thank you for this awsome recipe, I tried this and loved it, so I want to do it again :) just one question, last time I used royal icing to ice the twists, but with only one egg I had way too much icing, so I wanted to try your milk icing this time. Anyway I just wanted to ask, does the icing solidify once spread? Or does it stay "liquid"?
    Many thanks for your help. Have a good evening.

    1. It does solidity, but if it is covered air tight it will liquify. Just make sure you drizzle the icing on when the rolls are completely cool and it will look more like the royal icing. The icing has a softer bite than royal icing.

  40. I am in love with your joke this blog has taught me how to cook and my family is forever grateful to you! I have a question about storing these rolls just to clarify....I want to make them a week in advance of a party I am having and freeze them and then thaw them out. Should I wait to glaze and frost them when they have thawed the day of the party, or can I glaze them and freeze the glaze right on the roll as well? Does that make sense? I just am imagining thawing the roles and having the frozen glaze turn them to goo....not the icing, but the glaze... Anyway, if you had time to answer this I would be so grateful. Thanks again for this beyond amazing blog.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comments. You have made my day. You can do either way. If you glaze and ice them before freezing, simply thaw at room temperature uncovered. Remove any plastic. If they are thawed while being, covered then the rolls will sweat and the icing will turn to goo. You can also just wait to ice and glaze them after thawing. I guess it depends on the amount of time you have. I hope I answered any questions. Best of luck.

  41. THANK you for another fantastic recipe. We had these this evening after our dinner of Pork Chile Verde (another delicious recipe from your blog). I'm so glad you're blogging again. I LOVE the recipes you share and also the beautiful photographs.

    I cut the recipe down to just 1/4 and got 18 good size (not giant) twists. I did half with cardamom filling to satisfy my Scandinavian taste. I brushed them with a cardamom simple syrup that I made previously and then drizzled them with the icing.

    DELICIOUS and great texture!

    1. I love your Scandinavian twist. I love cardamom, so I'm going to have to try your version. Thank you so much for your kind comments. Happy cooking!