1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
½ cup butter (room temperature)
4 cups all purpose flour
2 lg. eggs (room temperature)
1 cup milk (room temperature)
2 sm. packs active dry yeast
¼ tsp lemon flavor
¼ tsp orange flavor
¼ tsp vanilla flavor
½ cup butter, melted
½ cup cinnamon sugar (1/2 cup sugar + 1 heaping tsp. cinnamon)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
purple food color
yellow food color
green food color
In a mixer at first speed combine 1/3 cup granulated sugar, salt, and butter until well creamed.
Add eggs and continue to cream.
Dissolve the yeast in the milk and add the flavors.
Once dissolved add to creamed mixture and continue to mix. (At this point, my creamed mixture separated out from the liquid, but I knew my kitchen was a bit cool, so I preserved, hoping the flour would even it all out.)
Add flour and mix until dough tightens.
Remove from mixer and knead a few times and shape into a ball.
Coat lightly with oil and cover with plastic wrap.
Allow the dough to rest for 1½ hours. (Because I knew my kitchen was cool, I turned on the oven to preheat at 370 degrees fahrenheit, and left the bowl with the dough near the stove.)
While the dough is resting mix your colored sugars.
Start by taking 1/4 cup of sugar and your yellow food coloring.
Mix by hand with a wire whisk in a bowl until the sugar turns yellow.
Pour your yellow sugar into a separate bowl and put off to the side.
Repeat this process mixing green then purple. (By doing them in that order you only dirty one mixing bowl. I used icing gel colors. I didn't have purple so I mixed red and blue. The color is not as bringht as I would have liked.)
When dough has rested roll out into an oblong piece. (The recipe didn't say how big, so I tore off a sheet of parchment paper maybe about 24 inches or so long and rolled the dough to fit.)
Brush on melted butter covering the entire piece.
Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar liberally over the whole piece.
Once the dough is covered with the cinnamon sugar and oil, fold it in half lengthwise.
Cut into 3 strips and braid the dough. (Here's where I ran into trouble. I had never braided dough before, and my thoughts were that I didn't understand what to do and perhaps I had made my oblong too long. I managed to braid the first part but then the dough stretched and wouldn't behave, so I went to the next step.)
Gently roll the dough by starting at one end and working all the way down to the other end.
This will make the dough a nice long piece that can then be shaped into a circle.
Once shaped place on a baking pan covered with piece of parchment. (My dough and circle were so big, I just lifted the edge of the parchment and slide the sheet underneath.)
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest again until it doubles in size. (Again, I did this near the hot oven. I think I might have let the dough rise just a little too long, as it got very large.)
If you haven't already, preheat your oven to 370 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake at 370 degrees F for 12-15 minutes until dough is golden brown. (Mine took the full 15 minutes.)
Vanilla Butter Glaze
3 Tbsp. melted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. milk
Mix all together to make smooth glaze. Glaze will thicken as it cools.
To decorate cake:
Think of the cake as having 4 quarters or sections, each with 3 alternating colors of sugar. I iced all the green sections first, followed by the purple and then the yellow. This helps keep the colors separate. I forgot to add the plastic baby, but figured people would love the cake anyway!