Photo courtesy of the Depressed Cake Shop.

From their first appearance, these grey cakes may not be as immediately appealing as pink frosting or red velvet. but there’s an important message among the crumbs. Grey cakes are sold through the Depressed Cake Shop to raise awareness of mental illness.

Having successfully held bake sales in KL, the Depressed Cake Shop will launch in Ipoh on 12 January 2014. In Ipoh, they will raise funds for the Befrienders, a group which provides 24-7 emotional support for those with mental health concerns; and Perak Palliative Care Society (PPCS), a charity that counsels those suffering from cancer and their families.

The concept first started out as a pop-up shop in London but has since become a global movement. “When someone says ‘cupcake’, you think of pink icing and sprinkles. When someone says ‘mental health issues’, an equally unimaginative stereotype will pop into most minds. By having grey cakes, we’re challenging the expected and getting people to challenge the labels they put on those who suffer from mental illness,” said Emma Thomas, a.k.a Miss Cakehead, who opened the first Depressed Cake Shop.

Datin Sabrinah Morad introduced the concept of Depressed Cake Shop to Malaysia as she felt many Malaysians still lack knowledge of depression and the other types of mental health issues. The Depressed Cake Shop is set up to educate people about this difficult topic while being able to enjoy eating cake. The first sale in Kuala Lumpur raised RM18,000 in two days for the Malaysian Mental Health Association.

The next sale will be at Ipoh’s Burps & Giggles café. If you’re a home baker, why not contribute a cake to the upcoming sale? Bakers also have the option of joining their competition for most creative and original Depressed cake, at a price of RM10 per entry.

Rathika Sheila

The Ipoh Depressed Cake Shop will hold a sale on 12 January 2014, at Burps & Giggles, 93 & 95 Jalan Sultan Yussuf, 30000 Ipoh. Find out more here.