I love the smell of cinnamon rolls wafting through the house, especially when family is together. Unfortunately, our plans this year hit a few bumps in the road so I’ll be celebrating Christmas with Zu and Fig. It’s my first time to be home for the holiday in 38 years. Being that it’s our first time to celebrate together, Zu, Fig and I are baking and waiting for Santa’s arrival with great anticipation!
This giant cinnamon roll is a lot of fun to make, especially with kids. It’s easy to wrap, messy and looks like a big flower.
You don’t need a cast iron skillet but it does make for a nice crunch on the bottom of the roll. I used a 12-inch skillet but you may also use a 10-inch skillet or any other type of pan in those sizes.
I like a thicker cream cheese frosting instead of a glaze. You may also try my Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting recipe using Cinnamon Simple Syrup.
The layers are amazing! So much cinnamon flavor! You may add chopped toasted pecans or other nuts. They would probably fall out if added right after the dough was rolled out. I would wrap the entire roll in the pan first then tuck pecans between the layers.
Don’t forget to allow your roll to proof for another 45 minutes before baking. It makes a difference in the light and fluffy texture of the roll. My house stays on the cooler side so for the first rise of dough, I cover the bowl in plastic and a towel then set it in direct sunlight to keep it warm.
After constructing the roll, for the proofing stage, I warmed my oven to 250 degrees F, turned it off, and placed my wrapped dough (covered with the plastic and towel) into the oven. I left the door cracked and checked it periodically. By the 45 minute mark, my roll had almost doubled in size.
I usually wake up really early on Christmas morning. However, because of the time factor involved in making these, you can make and bake ahead of time, prep the frosting to store in the refrigerator, and just reheat on Christmas morning. Add red and green sprinkles to dress it up for the holiday!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and and warm up the cinnamon roll for 8-10 minutes. Spread with cream cheese frosting and serve. The house will smell amazing and there will be plenty of time for coffee and family. Don’t forget to take the frosting out of the refrigerator first-thing so it can warm up, too.
Giant Skillet Cinnamon Roll
- Large mixing bowl
- Large bowl
- KitchenAid® Professional 600 Series Mixer
- KitchenAid® dough attachment
- Small bowl
- Rolling pin
- Small sauce pan
- Pastry brush
- Knife or pasta cutter
- Wooden spoon
- 1 cup warm water 110 degrees F
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ cup butter melted, slightly cooled
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 4 ounces full-fat cream cheese room temperature
- ¼ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon bourbon-vanilla extract (regular is fine)
- 1 pinch of salt
- Warm a large mixing bowl by allowing the bowl sit with warm water inside, or set the bottom of the bowl into warm water. I used the mixing bowl from my stand mixer. Empty water after 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of warm water (110°F) and yeast. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Add sugar and egg yolk. Combine with the paddle attachment or a wooden spoon.
- Add flour and salt. Mix until just combined.
- Knead dough using the dough hook attachment, or knead by hand for 10 minutes.
- Place dough in a lightly oiled or buttered bowl. I used olive oil. If using butter, turn the dough over in the bowl to coat completely with the butter. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
- In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. Have butter ready to melt, and slightly cooled, when it's time to roll out dough. Oil and lightly flour the skillet.
- After rising time, prep a work area with a little flour. Use as little as posible. Roll out dough into a large rectangle about a ¼-inch thick. Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter generously on the dough. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Cut the dough into 2-inch strips. You may cut from either the long side or short side, whichever is easier for you to handle.
- Roll one of the strips to form the middle of the roll. Place into skillet. Continue wrapping strips around the center until all are used. If filling falls off, just tuck it back into the roll. You may sprinkle more cinnamon sugar on top of the wrapped roll. If adding toasted pecans, tuck the pecans into the roll layers at this time.
- Cover the skillet with plastic, a towel, and place in a warm spot to proof for 45 minutes or until roll doubles in size.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes until golden brown. Careful not to overbake. Times may vary depending on your oven. You want it to bake long enough so there is no doughy middle but not so long that the roll becomes dry inside. Cast iron skillets get very hot so the roll will continue to cook some when removed from the oven. If the top is getting too brown, cover the roll with foil to bake longer without over-browning.
- Spread with cream cheese frosting and serve warm.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- Using a stand-up or electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter.
- Mix in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until fully incorporated.
- Add in the vanilla and salt. Mix until combined.
- Spread frosting over the top of the cinnamon roll while still warm. You may double this recipe if you like a lot of extra frosting. Enjoy!
- Refrigerate frosting within 2 hours. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature and re-whip with an electric mixer before using again.