Shannon O'Malley, author, Apocalypse Cakes: Recipes for the End
“New College encouraged me to go off and do my own weird thing — and trust my own direction.
AOC: Social Sciences
Shannon O’Malley is an advertising copywriter in San Francisco with Nike Women, Michelob Ultra and The Austin Chamber of Commerce among her clients. A self-described “urchin arts enthusiast,” she is the author of Apocalypse Cakes: Recipes for the End (Running Press, 2011).
“We’re doomed. Eat cake,” O’Malley writes in the book’s introduction. “A variety of cataclysmic punishments from God continue to rain down upon us. Obviously, this is the time to eat several entire cakes. Use this book to help you celebrate your time on this earth, for when you look up from your cake-smeared cakehole, the sky will fade ablack, the lakes will blaze aflame, and the locusts will buzz aswarming. Eat now, little heathens: there are no cakes in the apocalypse.”
Apocalypse Cakes is cultural commentary wrapped up into curious cake recipes,” explains O’Malley. “Not like I’m some big pundit, but I probably wouldn’t have the critical mind to write such things if I hadn’t gone to New College. Also, New College encouraged me to go off and do my own weird thing — and trust my own direction. It was good training on how to think and act independently, without a lot of hand holding.”
Photographs by Keith Wilson illuminate O’Malley’s culinary concoctions, including Global Warming Hot Apple Pie, Gay Wedding Cake, BP Oil Black Bottom Cake and Agent Orange Carrot Cake. O’Malley sprinkles social commentary into her recipes with a dash of humor.
“Stir in carrots, fold in pecans. Pour all into pan. Bake for 50 min,” instructs O’Malley in her recipe for Agent Orange Carrot Cake. “Check the weather channel for roving toxic plume. Cool in pan for 10 min., then turn out onto a wire rack and cool.”
O’Malley, who says she has no previous baking experience, created the first version of Apocalypse Cakes in 2008 as an eight-page ‘zine printed at Kinko’s and stapled at her ad agency. See her work at shannonomalley.com.