You know them well: the delicious, bite-sized cupcakes greeting you at the U Street (& now Metropole!) front desk on every Member Appreciation Day. The seasonal themes seem to get more and more intricate each month, from Teddy Grahams wearing flotation devices to kick off pool season, unicorns and rainbows for Pride month, or the most recent collection of too-cute-to-eat marshmallow ghosts for Halloween. They always taste as good as they look, and are just the right size for a post-workout treat on your way out the door!
So where do these adorable mini bites of deliciousness come from? One of our own VIDA members, Chris Sharp, is who to thank. Learn more about the man behind the cupcakes in our Q&A below!
So, how did you first get into cupcake making?
I first started making regular size cupcakes back when I lived in Tampa. One Christmas, I had wanted to give my coworkers and neighbors a small gift so I thought baking something would be a great idea. When I moved to DC, I continued to bake for friends’ birthdays and holiday parties, but the regular size cupcakes just seemed to be too big. Consequently, a close friend suggested I make mini cupcakes, and I have not looked back since.
How long have you been making the cupcakes for VIDA MAD?
I have been making VIDA MAD cupcakes for over 2 1/2 years. I started with VIDA U Street in February 2015 and have expanded to VIDA Metropole in June 2017.
How do you find the creative ideas for the cupcakes each month? (You do such a great job tying them into each event/holiday!)
I first start with the theme that is provided by the VIDA team. I then take into account the month, season, and what flavors or flavor combinations would fit well with the theme or season. I then design the cupcakes around that incorporating seasonal/theme colors and decorations.
What’s your favorite cupcake that you have made, or which flavors do you enjoy the most?
My favorite cupcake is probably my sweet potato cupcake with a marshmallow cream cheese frosting. It is a derivative of my carrot cake recipe and sort of my own creation through trial and error. My favorite frosting though is my nougat frosting which is a combination of my marshmallow cream cheese frosting with bits of roasted pecans and toasted coconut.
Tell us a little about who you are when you’re not making cupcakes.
When I am not baking, I work full time with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), a federal law enforcement organization within the U.S. Department of Justice. If I am not working, you will most likely see me at the gym. I also spend a great deal of time with my friends who have become my second family here in DC. As a group, we enjoy traveling, going out to dinner, playing board games and just hanging out with one another.
What kind of cupcakes will Chris whip up next? Stop by our next Member Appreciation Day on Thursday, November 9th at U Street or Metropole to find out!