by Pat Tanner
Ever read the ingredients list on a box of cake mix? “Natural” is not a word it conjures. On the other hand, no one is more skeptical than I when it comes to “all-natural” versions of what should be deliciously decadent convenience foods. Which is why I hesitated before agreeing to sample the mini-cupcake that a perfectly nice couple was proffering at last summer’s Fancy Food Show in New York.
Nora Schultz of Princeton and her husband, Steve, assured me that their all-natural cake and frosting mixes taste as good as homemade. The Schultzes left the corporate world (she, Campbell’s Soup; he, Colgate Palmolive) in order to launch the Naturally Nora line of five cake mixes and four frostings, all made without artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, and no hydrogenated oils. Plus, all are certified kosher.
Clearly, I wouldn’t be telling you all this if my test cupcake of “Cookie Cookie” (yellow cake embedded with bits of chocolate cookie) with Cheerful Chocolate frosting hadn’t been scrumptious.
Fun flavors like Surprising Stars and Alot’a Dots make them perfect for kids’ parties – especially if your kid has certain allergies. The mixes themselves do not contain dairy, nuts, or soy – although some sort of milk product is added during home preparation. (Vanilla soymilk and some margarines are nondairy alternatives.)
Naturally Nora mixes are available at Whole Foods markets in Princeton and Marlton, at 26 Acme stores in NJ, online at amazon.com, and in nine other states and DC. For more info visit naturallynora.com. E-mail Nora there for details on how your school’s PTO can receive a donation of Naturally Nora products for a school bake sale.