King Cake

1 – 16 oz. carton sour cream
1/3 c. sugar, plus 1 T. and 1/2 c. sugar, divided
1/4 c. butter, plus 1/3 c. softened, divided
1 t. salt
2 pkgs. dry active yeast
1/2 c. warm water (105-115 degrees)
2 large eggs
6 – 6 1/2 c. flour, divided
1 1/2 t. cinnamon

Colored Frostings:
3 c. sifted powdered sugar
3 T. butter
3-5 T. milk
1/4 t. vanilla extract
1 or two drops each of green, yellow, red and blue liquid food coloring

Colored Sugars:
1 1/2 c. sugar, divided
1 or 2 drops each of green, yellow, red and blue liquid food coloring

Combine sour cream, 1/3 c. sugar, 1/4 c. butter and 1 t. salt in a medium sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until butter melts, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool to 105 to 115 degrees.

Combine yeast, 1 T. sugar and warm water in a one cup measuring cup. Let stand for 5 minutes. Combine this mixture with the sour cream mixture. Add 2 eggs and 2 cups flour. Beat with mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes, gradually adding in 3 more cups flour.

Turn this dough out onto a floured surface and gradually knead in remaining 1 1/2 cups flour. Knead until smooth and elastic.

Place dough in a well-greased bowl turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees) for 50 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Combine 1/2 c. sugar, 1/3 c. butter and cinnamon. Set aside. Punch dough down and divide in half. Place one portion of dough on a floured surface and roll into a 27 by 10 inch rectangle. Spread half of butter and cinnamon mixture on top. Roll up like a jellyroll and pinch seam to seal. Punch down and repeat this for the second roll of dough and the second half of the butter and cinnamon mixture.

Gently place each dough roll, seam-side down, on lightly greased baking sheets. Shape each into an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal. Cover and let rise in a warm place free from drafts for 30 minutes.

Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Colored Frosting:
Combine powdered sugar and 3 T. butter. Add milk and vanilla. Divide into 3 batches and tint one green, one yellow and combine the red and blue to make one purple.

Colored Sugars:
Combine 1/2 c. sugar and 1 drop green food coloring in a jar. Place lid on jar and shake until color evenly coats. Repeat this procedure to make yellow and purple (red and blue).

Decorate cakes with bands of colored frostings and sprinkle with colored sugars. Yields 2 cakes with 18 servings each. From The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook.

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