Preferred Vendor: theCakePlace

If you live anywhere near Russellville, Arkansas, you’ve without a doubt heard of theCakePlace. It’s kind of a big deal in the River Valley and beyond. And for good reason! They’re serving up the most delicious (and beautiful) desserts around, including cupcakes, wedding cakes, birthday cakes, pies, cookies and cheesecakes. And they just so happen to be one of our very favorite vendors here at The Barn at Twin Oaks Ranch!

Elmer Escobar, from Amanda + Brad's sweet, intimate pink wedding

Elmer Escobar, from Amanda + Brad's sweet, intimate pink wedding

Twin Town Studios, from Nikki + Scott's glittery pink and gold wedding; Erika Dotson Photography from Anita + Wesley's pretty peach and white wedding (you've gotta see Wesley's groom's cake, too)

Twin Town Studios, from Nikki + Scott's glittery pink and gold wedding; Erika Dotson Photography from Anita + Wesley's pretty peach and white wedding (you've gotta see Wesley's groom's cake, too)

Lauren Stinson, the owner of theCakePlace, didn’t go to culinary school or major in culinary arts, but she has always loved to bake. “There are pictures of me on my grandma’s counter at two years old rolling out cookies,” she said.

She got a job at PattiCakes Bakery as a part-time baker and eventually worked herself up to a full-time wedding cake decorator. When the owner of PattiCakes decided to sell the business, she offered it to Lauren. Lauren and her mother, Cindy Jones, bought the bakery, and theCakePlace opened its doors in June of 2011.

Since then, Lauren’s team has grown to include three bakers and two cake decorators. Lauren said that even though she was once a cake decorator, she rarely decorates wedding cakes these days. “That is not where my strength is; that’s where my decorator’s strength is,” she said. And just look at these cakes! Lauren and her team are some of the most talented people around.

Stephanie Parsley Photography, from Samantha + Danny's magical boho-chic wedding

Stephanie Parsley Photography, from Samantha + Danny's magical boho-chic wedding

Kati Mallory Photo & Design from Cedrah + Lee's colorful spring wedding; EmeryAnn + Andrew's boho-shabby-chic wedding

Kati Mallory Photo & Design from Cedrah + Lee's colorful spring wedding; EmeryAnn + Andrew's boho-shabby-chic wedding

TheCakePlace makes every single gorgeous cake for our weddings, as well as all those cute shortcake bars, dessert shooters, fried pies and grooms’ cakes you’ve seen on our Facebook page and on this blog. And believe it or not, everything they make is just as tasty as it is pretty!

Lauren said many of the recipes she uses have been passed down from family members, including her grandma. Others, she finds in cookbooks and online and alters them to be “what I want, to be a little better,” she said. Lauren said her favorite dessert at theCakePlace is the double chocolate bread pudding, which is made with cocoa, Kahlua, chocolate chips, cinnamon, almonds and topped with a chocolate ganache. My goodness! Feel free to bring us a whole bunch of that any time, Lauren. ;)

Danielle Davis Art/Photography, from Emily + Blake's recent wedding; Russell Photography, from Emily + Mark's blue and coral spring wedding

Danielle Davis Art/Photography, from Emily + Blake's recent wedding; Russell Photography, from Emily + Mark's blue and coral spring wedding

Cottonwood Studios Worldwide, from Ally + Tyler's romantic summer wedding

Cottonwood Studios Worldwide, from Ally + Tyler's romantic summer wedding

Photo Love Photography, from Ashley + Derrick's gorgeous summer wedding

Photo Love Photography, from Ashley + Derrick's gorgeous summer wedding

As our former brides know, theCakePlace makes choosing the design and flavors of your wedding cake one of the most fun aspects of the wedding planning process. Every Barn bride gets to meet with Lauren for a cake consultation, in which she brings out a gazillion cupcakes, fillings and frosting for you to mix and match. It is pretty much a dream come true. The flavor combinations are endless!

Tryston Hines Photography, from Kortney + Dakota's pretty pastel wedding

Tryston Hines Photography, from Kortney + Dakota's pretty pastel wedding

Tryston Hines Photography, from Megan + Jonathan's pink summer wedding

Tryston Hines Photography, from Megan + Jonathan's pink summer wedding

Lauren said the design planning process is totally different with each bride. She said some brides come in with absolutely no idea about the flavors or design they want, while others are 100% sure about the look, colors and flavors they want for their cake.

Since theCakePlace has made so many beautiful cakes, Lauren had a hard time narrowing down her favorites. Her top three are Ashley and Justin’s quirky four-tiered cake, Bayley and Lucas’s simple, flower-covered, pink lace cake, and this fun black and white striped cake with red flowers. I sure love those too, but really, I think they are all beautiful!

Kerrie + Stefan, from Ashley + Justin's sweet pink wedding; Melissa McCrotty Photography, from Bayley + Lucas's Southern pink wedding

Kerrie + Stefan, from Ashley + Justin's sweet pink wedding; Melissa McCrotty Photography, from Bayley + Lucas's Southern pink wedding

If you live in the area or you’re just passing through, you must pay Lauren and theCakePlace team a visit. They’ve got lots of cupcake flavors available every day, as well as a variety of other desserts. Try the chess cake. You can thank me later.

The delicious dessert table at our Open Barn 2014

The delicious dessert table at our Open Barn 2014