Black dog macaroons, psycho Swiss roll, grey fudge and cupcakes.
No, this isn’t a macabre take on Veruca Salt’s bratty number from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. It’s a sampling of just a few of the many treats offered at some of the pop-up bakeries known as The Depressed Cake Shop.
Based out of the UK but making international appearances, the Depressed Cake Shop aims to raise awareness of mental illness through producing baked goods coated in a grey scale of icing, with bright and colorful fillings. The idea is to illustrate the effects of diseases like depression, which cloaks a normally colorful life in a sea of gloomy feelings for those who suffer from it. The contrast between the sweets' coating and center is also meant to lend insight to the complexities of mental illness, which lie within the symptoms of the diseases themselves and in the fact that no two people with the same illness have the exact same feelings and experiences.
The idea for such a melancholy sweetshop comes from creative director Miss Cakehead, (aka Emma Thomas) the managing director of Cakehead Loves.
The bakery also aims to provide a source of therapy for those who suffer from mental illness. Many of the people working with the shop have personal experience with depression and find that baking the gloomy on the outside, bright on the inside confections to be therapeutic. All of the proceeds go to various mental health charities.
One of the shops' trademark treats, the Black Dog Macaroon, is a tribute to Winston Churchill, who referred to his own depression as “the black dog that would visit.”
Here are a few other treats: