Grey cakes hardly sound like the most appetising thing in the world, but these are cakes with a very important message.
Just like art and craft, baking has long been thought to help depression. To raise awareness of mental illness and raise funds for mental health charities the Depressed Cake Shop is firing up the ovens to create some somber cakes.
Nobody likes to talk about depression and that’s the problem. The stats speak for themselves: 1 in 4 people will be affected by mental illness in their lifetime. So to get people speaking about the normally taboo subject, bakers across the country are getting together to set up pop up stalls selling grey cakes.
Spearheaded by the amazing Miss Cakehead, who is already known for her unusual and tasty creations, her band of bakers are calling for professional and amateur cooks across the UK to join together in the first weekend in August as the Depressed Cake Shop opens at venues in London, Glasgow, Derby, Cardiff and North Yorkshire.
Miss Cakehead a.k.a Emma Thomas says: The symptoms of depression can be complex – and vary widely – and so will our cakes. But as a general rule, if you are depressed, you feel sad, hopeless and lose interest in things you used to enjoy. The professional and hobby bakers contributing work to this event will be creating cakes that visually represent this… For example barely decorated cakes or cookies will communicate how depression can affect your ability to work, the grey & dull consistent color scheme that all fun can disappear from life. This will be a cake shop like nothing else seen before, the grey sad looking but delicious tasting cakes powerfully demonstrating the effects of depression.’
Lou Lou P’s Delights made the inspired Misfortunate Cookies (above) which explore the idea of how the depressive brain functions, with misfortunes including: ‘What’s the point in even trying?’, ‘Just pull yourself together’, ‘Everybody’s staring at you’ and ‘Epic Fail’. She has also cleverly made Black Dog Macarons and sprinkles.
The only rule of The Depressed Cake Shop is cakes must be grey on the outside (use equal parts of black and white food dye) although you can make the middles as colourful as you like.
I’ll be visiting the pop up shop when it opens on 2 August in Brick Lane, east London and If you want to get involved all you have to do is join the facebook group or contact Miss Cakehead at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow on Twitter at #depressedcakes