Hop to Fat Rabbit

Ellyn Hopper’s cakes are as flavorful as they are stylish.

One look at Fat Rabbit Bakery in Richmond’s Union Hill neighborhood and I can hear my grandmother: “Will you look at that?” she’d say when she spied a perfect cake in a bakeshop window. “It’s almost too pretty to eat.” Almost. 

Fat Rabbit owner Ellyn Hopper bakes tall cakes, squat cakes, cakes of all flavors, iced “semi-naked,” and adorned with flowers or fruit, limited only by buttercream and Hopper’s imagination. 

Hopper focuses on organic ingredients and seasonal flavors that are as comforting as they are complex. Her spiced walnut cake is filled with fig jam and skimmed with mascarpone buttercream. Nutella buttercream and chocolate ganache finish an olive oil cake flavored with dark chocolate and pear. “We also love Mexican chocolate with warm spices like cardamom and ginger, paired with fall fruit,” she says. “Hopefully, figs will stick around. As we get into winter, we focus pretty heavily on citrus.” 

Beyond cakes, you’ll find lofty English muffins, fruit crumble pies with shortbread crusts, ethereal blueberry-lavender biscuits, sage and goat cheese scones, and iced “Hop Tarts,” Hopper’s sophisticated take on a childhood guilty pleasure. 

Of her special releases planned for Thanksgiving and Christmas, Hopper says orders are limited. “We have to cap out; it’s just managing the bakery and production.” And the fat rabbit of Fat Rabbit? His name is Lyle and, for this floppy-eared bunny, life’s pretty sweet. Fat-Rabbit.com 


This article originally appeared in the December 2022 issue.

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