The theory behind Eat Your Heart Out – it’s more than just f*cked up cake!

This anatomical Venus chocolate sculpted piece was one of my favourite pieces from EYHO 2012 – by Cake for Breakfast and too good to eat

Every year I run an non for profit cake event  Eat Your Heart Out where I curate a cake shop, it acts as a new business & ‘Miss Cakehead’ awareness exercise. It started in 2010 to show brands and agencies just what I am capable of in terms of generating press & buzz with an experiential stunt / event. In this case of EYHO this PR is also massively beneficial for all the bakers who take part, along with keeping 80% of the money taken (we use 20% to cover our costs). Obviously in 2012 EYHO is now building on previous high profile client work but I wanted to keep doing the event, building on the large fan base the Eat Your Heart Out brand now has, and promoting creativity in cake making.  A passion for promoting cake makers as artists starting back in 2010 with the Cake Britain concept for Tate & Lyle (does anyone want to do Cake Britain 2), my first big cake project which was aimed at getting mums baking more with their kids (I love do safe pretty things too).

Incredible show cake from Conjurer’s Kitchen

Doing such a public display of creative & PR skills is utterly nerve wracking. However at the end of the day it’s also solid proof and reassurance to clients that they will be in very safe hands, obviously sending a much stronger message of my capabilities than any amount of Powerpoint documents and coverage boards could do in a million years. As a creative I also feel is is essential to be driven by a passionate for creativity, not just clients budgets and briefs.

A cocktail designed to replicate the stomach contents of a teenage suicide victim

One of the new things this year were the anatomical cocktails from James Dance which worked really well and is most certainly something we would look to do again for buzz, PR and customer enjoyment. Other key coverage and buzz drivers where the STD cupcakes from Jenni Powell and the Anal Wart cupcakes from Tattoo Cakes; in 2010 it was Two Girls One Cupcake from Holly & The Icing which was our biggest seller. The lesson learnt… as long as you can justify a concept you can push it to the limits of acceptability, one which certainly shaped my approach for the Resident Evil Wesker & Son Human Butchery campaign.

Anus cupcakes from Tattoo Cakes – each featuring a various medical symptoms such as a tear or warts

So how did it go? Well I am delighted to say that Eat Your Heart  Out 2012 was a resounding success and built on the hype and press from 2010 to become even bigger – it’s so nice to see it growing up! We sold every single crumb and the shop was jam packed every day from the moment we opened the doors to closing. This year it was supported by Kraken Rum and I also learnt that it’s ruddy delicious. PR wise the coverage and engagement were akin to KIP’s expected from a £250,000 + integrated campaign. Broadcast interviews were given in over 16 different countries, and we featured widely on UK television too including ITV London news (hideous interview with myself), Loose Women & Blue Peter.

Loose Women, ITV1

Press coverage was widespread and viral and once again I’d like to thank all the journalists and bloggers who take both the concept and Miss Cakehead to their hearts, they are as essential to the success of Eat Your Heart Out as the cakes. Another learning I will take forward is deviating slightly from a key message, resulting in vastly increased press coverage and engagement, is a trade off that works. This year the theme was about medical education and awareness (in 2010 it was 18+),using purposefully provocative cakes to spread the message about things such as STD’s in a way which was so effective it stunned some of the charities who work on promoting similar issues. On this point I would also like to say that we have made all the cakes, and images, from EYHO 2012 available to any charity who wants to use them for educational purposes. More on that soon…

STD Cupcakes in Time Out

The Guardian (to date over 10,000 Facebook shares online)

Nevie Pie Cakes appeared on Blue Peter showing them how to make fungus toe nail cookies

Half page in The Metro

So that’s the theory behind the madness for all of you who wonder why on earth I do a pop up cake shop when I can’t bake. To sign off this post I can also confirm that EYHO 2013 IS happening – the theme is Heavy Metal and will be co-curated with Dan Pugsley from the band Skindred. It’s going to be AMAZING.

Bring on 2013!!!


5 thoughts on “The theory behind Eat Your Heart Out – it’s more than just f*cked up cake!

  1. Heavy metal cakes has already been done to death – my friend even runs a heavy metal bakery. Anyone who knows anything about underground baking would know that

    1. Anatomical cakes had already been done to death but that did not effect the success of EYHO 2012 did it? Your charming comment did not tell me about your friend, or who they are which is a shame and a wasted opportunity to impart some knowledge alongside your snide comment. She is exactly the kind of person we will be approaching to take part, plus everyone who has blogs / books / cake shops based around heavy metal and cakes. Hey this is my job I know it’s popular which is why we decided to do it! There are 1000’s of people who already do heavy metal baking and we can’t wait to join them, with the strong music industry links we have, it’s a cake community coming together to create something amazing. We’re a non for profit so the cake makers get free PR and to keep all of the money we make. There is not a catch so why not be more supportive?

    2. @Epidermal Macabre: Does your friend with the heavy metal bakery know that you think the subject has been done to death? Personally, I wouldn’t be very happy if my friends said things like that.

  2. Epidermal Macabre. Whilst it may be true that ‘heavy metal’ cakes have been made before, put Miss Cakehead and the EYHO gang onto the theme and i can guarantee the result will blow any previous ‘attempts’ at the theme out of the stratosphere. In this game it isn’t who does something first, it’s who does it the best.. and trust me when i say that accolade will go to EYHO! And that’s not a threat, it’s a promise.

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