Author Marian Keyes was among the first to write publically about how baking helped her to recover from depression. Since her book ‘Saved by Cake’, much research has gone into how engaging in a methodical task with a creative result, such as baking, can relieve the symptoms of depression.
The Depressed Cake Shop is a pop-up cake shop seeking to promote awareness of mental health issues and the advantages of baking as therapy. All the cakes are a single shade of grey but with vibrantly coloured insides. Proceeds from the shops go towards various mental health charities.
The initiative comes from Emma Thomas, or ‘Miss Cakehead’ as she is known on her blog. Thomas’ flair for warped creativity first gained notoriety with the launch of her ‘Little Cake Shop of Horrors’. From prostate cancer truffles to severed heads, all the cakes were made to resemble abused or diseased body parts. Lemon drizzle cake in the form of an amputated foot hung from a meat hook and yet, according to Thomas, “people really went for it”.
The Depressed Cake Shops might be less evocative in appearance but the concept is the same: a dichotomy between unappealing exterior and tasty interior.
As many as one in four of us suffer from mental health problems at some point in life. Many of the Depressed Cakes will be made by those with experiences of depression. The intention is for the project to fund baking therapy sessions around the UK.
The Depressed Cake Shop arrives in London on 4 August.
Visit misscakehead.wordpress.com for more details.