"It was the first dessert to sell out"
The sweet story behind Faye's Desserts's award-winning chocolate champorado cupcakes
“My mom never got store-bought desserts. If I wanted something sweet, I had to figure it out myself with ingredients we had at home.”
That’s how Vista pastry chef Faye Rodriguez learned to love baking. By day, she’s a senior product manager at Brixton, but when her kids grew up and their family relocated from Chula Vista to Vista in 2016, she decided to pursue a side business in desserts, waking up as early as 4 a.m. to hit the oven. Her first gig was making cupcakes, cheesecakes, and more for Privateer Marketplace in Oceanside, followed by Panels Comic Book Coffee Bar. Eventually, word-of-mouth marketing led to private orders and event catering.
But it’s her chocolate champorado cupcake, available by special order, that’s garnered a lot of attention. The dessert is based on champorado, a traditional Filipino breakfast of warm chocolate rice pudding served with salted fish.
“My mom would make it for us on cold days, except—being a Filipino American family—we ate it with bacon instead of fish.” She decided to present her spin on that nostalgic meal at San Diego’s annual Friendly Feast fundraiser bake sale as an homage to her mom, who had recently passed.
“I wanted to draw upon my personal experience so the desserts actually meant something,” she says. The cupcake consists of her signature chocolate cake recipe, a chilled champorado filling, whipped chocolate buttercream frosting, and candied bacon.
“It was the first dessert to sell out. The other pastry chefs are affiliated with well-known restaurants. I felt like that underdog and I was intimidated, but I put my heart out there and people appreciated it.”