I must admit to you that last week's King Cakes were from a new-to-me recipe. I have a horrible habit of trying any new King Cake recipe that crosses my path. (Some husbands might say this more of an addiction). When I pulled my baking recipes binder from the cabinet to prep those cakes, a stray piece of paper floated to the floor. It was a handwritten recipe for the cake dough....from I don't know where! On a whim, I decided to try this unknown recipe because a quick glance at the ingredient list showed it wasn't too different than my current favorite. The added bonus is that it makes 2 cakes for the same amount of work - 1 for you and 1 to share!
But now? It's our NEW favorite. I feel compelled to share it with you. Since I am positive that you've all been making King Cakes this whole time, right???
1/4 cup butter
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream (this is the difference!)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 (.25 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast OR 5 tsp yeast
1 tablespoon white sugar (you can substitute honey, as well)
1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1. COOK first 4 ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, stirring often. Cool mixture to 100 degrees to 110 degrees. (Essentially, you're scalding these - just like the other recipe)
2. DISSOLVE yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add butter mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until smooth. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. (Note: My dough is always very wet and it takes an extra 3/4 cup of flour.)
3. KNEAD with your stand mixer for 8 minutes. TURN dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for just another minute because it feels good and pioneer-ish. Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
4. STIR together 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, and 2 TBSP cinnamon; set aside. In a separate bowl, melt 1/2 cup butter.
5. PUNCH dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface; roll to a 30" x 30" (approx) rectangle. Cut this in half, leaving you with two pieces. Spread half each with melted butter and sugar/ cinnamon mixture. Roll each dough, jellyroll fashion, starting at long side. Place dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased or lined baking sheet. Bring ends together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal. (You could also cut the large rectangle into thirds and braid the cake, but it will be huge and very tall - almost too high to comfortably take a bite.)
6. PLACE each cake in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
7. BAKE at 375 F for 15 to 18 minutes. Do not overbake because it makes the cake dry.
8. PROCEED with icing and colored sugars as per this post.
Humorously, we had a friend from the New Orleans area stop by last weekend and, of course, I offered her a piece. She was so enthusiastic about it's flavor and texture, that she likened this cake to one of her favorites from "back home" and vowed to send me that recipe. Surprise! The recipe she sent is exactly the same as my unknown handwritten one! Now I can tell you that this sour cream version was printed by Southern Living in January 1990.
I always give credit where credit is due. Please comment or email if you try to make a King Cake this season. I would love to hear about your experience and opinions.
Post title - Dolly Parton's A Habit I Can't Break.