Slice of Humor: Existential Crisis Cakes

It is rare that I find myself laughing at decorated cakes, but this time I had to share this with our readers. Existential Crisis Cakes is forging its own path as a woman owned cake decorating business. Run by a woman named Britta, this unique and delicious cake decorating business showcases funny and somewhat solemn imagery upon expertly crafted cakes.

When I came across Britta’s Instagram account, I found myself scrolling through each picture and remarking quietly that each cake is its own statement piece, and an unbelievably powerful conversation starter. I can only imagine the reactions and comedy that would ensue if a dessert such as this was brought to a company picnic or birthday party (assuming everyone had a sense of humor!)

I spoke with Britta and interviewed her on the business and herself.

What inspired you to start Existential Crisis Cakes, and how did you come up with the concept of incorporating humor into cake decoration?

My inspiration is literally in the name itself – I was, and still am, working through a lot of uncertainty and existential dread brought about by the current state of the world. The pandemic sent me spiraling and created a huge writers’ block. I suddenly had no direction for my creative energy. Cakes became my way to work through my worries with dark humor and a more tactile (and delicious!) form of art. They’re also a great way to connect with friends and add a bit of levity and comfort during hard times.

Can you tell us about the creative process behind designing your cakes? How do you select the jokes and memes featured on each cake?

Millennials might understand the urge to leave cryptic and angsty song lyrics as AIM away messages. My cakes are basically an edible version of that. My Notes app is filled with a growing list of lyrics, lines from movies, philosophy quotes, memes, etc that have spoken to me in some way. The whole process – creating and testing my recipes, making every component (the sponge, fillings, and frosting) from scratch, building the cake, dyeing the frosting, precisely piping the design – it all helps me channel and release whatever feelings have been gnawing at me.

How big is your team, or is it just you? Are you hiring right now?

ECC is a one-woman show! I’m too much of a control freak to let anybody else in the kitchen.

Could you share some memorable reactions or experiences from customers who have ordered your cakes?

I get lots of reaction videos of people laughing, and those always make me happy! Since I’ve gotten more of a following, I have seen some people who get excited just by the sight of my signature black cake boxes with my logo sticker on top. That’s humbling and amazing.

Which of your cake designs was the most popular? Did it cause you to suddenly gain a following?

When the Barbie movie trailer dropped late last spring and I heard the line “Do you guys ever think about dying?” I knew I had to stop everything I was doing and put it on a cake immediately. I really felt like Greta Gerwig wrote the line for me, personally. It was a gift. I created a hot pink cake covered in sparkly silver star sprinkles with that written on top. It went viral, got reposted by thousands of people, became inspiration for other cakers, and even drew the attention of the official Barbie account. I’ve been asked to recreate it several times since. The design also led to a collaboration with Cleveland-based pop culture accessories shop Charlie Girl, who illustrated my design and put it on earrings, keychains, and stickers. Those products sold out so quickly! It still blows my mind that people are out in the world wearing my cake.

What would you say to other artists who want to start a business using their artistic talent?

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. This is such a tough time to try to start any sort of business. ECC started as an art project first and foremost and has expanded at a nice pace, but I didn’t launch the project with money in mind. I’ve held onto my day job. It sucks, but you have to acknowledge the realities of capitalism or else they will hold you down and suck your creativity dry. If I had to rely on baking to pay all of my bills from the jump, I would have become a soulless cake factory churning out things I don’t care about.

This may be a common question, but do you offer normal cakes as well?

Yes!! In fact, most of the cakes I make are “normal.” The ones featured most prominently on my Insta and FB profiles just happen to be what gels with my artistic POV, but I truly will write whatever a client wants on top of their cake. Some say “Happy Birthday,” some say “Congrats on the Divorce,” and some say nothing at all with a pretty little design and some maraschino cherries on top. I love making cakes so much, and I love drawing from true vintage references (my huge collection of Wilton cake decorating books from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s). Not every cake is an angsty or silly Existential Crisis Cakes original, it’s just a bonus if someone wants one of those.

Any upcoming specials our readers should know about?

I’m currently booking custom cakes for May, June, and July! Sometimes dates book far in advance too, so if anyone is curious about booking with me for their special event they should get in touch with me ASAP to secure their spot.

We thank Britta for her time, and wanting to be included in our paper. For those that wish to make an order now or in the future, send an email to

Britta’s main email: [email protected]. You can also make orders through Instagram and Facebook @existentialcrisiscakes

Be sure to be patient and give her time to work with you and complete your order!


Interview and article by Jeffrey Darah