Design to Dish: Chocolate Pocky Cake

chocolate cake decorated with pink frosting and pockydomino” art print by Carrie ONeal; Pocky Cake (recipe below)

A few months ago, I was browsing Minted’s art prints for inspiration for upcoming Design to Dish posts, and I came across this “domino” print by Carrie ONeal. Instantly, I knew I had to make a cake decorated with Pocky sticks—this was one of those moments when the stars aligned and everything just clicked.

This pretty pink-and-chocolate-Pocky cake is as fun to look at as it is to eat. You can use any combination of cake and frosting flavors, but I made my favorite from-scratch chocolate cake and frosted it with my favorite vanilla buttercream (tinted a soft shade of pink to match the cute art print!). Both recipes are below; we had no problem polishing off the scrumptious cake and my kids stuffed themselves silly with Pocky!

chocolate cake decorated with pocky

Keep reading for the recipe for this irresistible chocolate cake…


Minted Real Wedding: Diane & Kaelem in Toronto

The picturesque Toronto Islands is the setting for today’s Minted Real Wedding, where Diane Carvalho and Kaelem Cahill exchanged vows in a charming historic church amid a downpour (so romantic!) before their 150 guests.

Are you a Minted bride? If you’d like to submit your wedding for consideration, please email a brief description of your celebration and a link to your wedding photos to

Minted Real Wedding | Toronto, Canada

Bride and groom: Diane Carvalho and Kaelem Cahill
Based in: Toronto, Ontario
Wedding date: July 27, 2013
Ceremony location: St. Andrews Church, Toronto Islands
Reception location: Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto Islands
Number of guests: 150
Minted wedding invitation: Chalkboard” by Alethea & Ruth
Florist: Peter Pauls Flowers
Wedding planner: Ellie Martires from Laura & Co. Events
Photographer: Tara McMullen Photography

Minted Real Wedding | Toronto Islands

How did you and Kaelem meet?
At a bar initially. But our friends started dating and we both became friends throughout the year and started dating a year later.

Tell us about the proposal!
Valentine’s Day while ice skating at Mel Lastman Square in Toronto, with U2’s “With or Without You” playing in the background.

How did you find your wedding venue?
The Toronto Islands is one of our favourite places in the city. It’s a short boat ride away from the city and feels like you’re in the North, away from all of the hustle and bustle. We had private boats for the bridal party and we rented a private charter boat to bring all of our guests to the island. We also had a late-night boat party on Lake Ontario after the reception.

Click through to see more details from Diane and Kaelem’s beautiful wedding…


DIY: Printable Ice-Cream Cone Napkin Rings

Now that warmer weather looks like it’s here to stay (fingers crossed), I consider it socially acceptable to start thinking about summer! Sure, I may be a few months early but when 75% of the year seems to be filled with winter blizzards or tornado storms, you have to savor the good-weather months as much as possible. And what better way to celebrate than a good ol’ fashioned ice cream party! I’ve been known to go a little over the top in the ice cream party department, so it was about time to add a little napkin ring action to the mix!

Click through for the free printable and step-by-step instructions


DIY: Raw Crystal Necklace Display

Spring is nearly here, which means it’s time to start thinking about spring cleaning and getting organized. Why not start with your jewelry? Keep your necklaces tangle-free by hanging them on this easy-to-make crystal jewelry rack.

Click through for the easy DIY instructions


DIY: Rainbow Photo Booth Backdrop

By Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of alice & lois

Are you hosting a St. Patrick’s Day bash this weekend? You’ve got to try this simple DIY rainbow photo booth backdrop. It’s a clever twist on a rainbow theme and we aren’t lying when we say you can whip up this backdrop in 15 minutes, flat!

Easy DIY rainbow photo booth for St. Patrick's Day

Click through the step-by-step instructions

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Wedding Invitation Challenge: Guest Judge’s Pick

The entries from our latest wedding invitation challenge simply blew us away—we received a staggering 1,922 submissions from designers from all around the world. To help us sort through all of the incredible entries, we asked wedding expert Emily Newman, founder and editor of the most gorgeous wedding blog Once Wed, to select her favorite invitation. Without further adieu…

 “Grand Affair” by Three Kisses Studio

“Grand Affair” by Three Kisses Studio immediately stood out to me as a favorite for its timeless type choice and understated elegance. I love how the lines delicately frame the type.”
—Emily Newman, Founder and editor, Once Wed

We can imagine designer Amy Fontes’ invitation perfectly complementing a glam, Art Deco-themed celebration, but the design is so versatile and could easily work for a more classic and traditional wedding held in a stately mansion or historic ballroom, too. Congratulations, Amy!

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Recipe: Golden Lass Cocktail (with free printable coasters!)

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and if you, like me, are in search of a festive libation that doesn’t leave your mouth stained bright green, then this is the recipe for you. Simple and refreshing, the Golden Lass is a delicious, ladylike cocktail that combines sparkling lemonade, Irish whiskey, and honey. What’s even sweeter? Our free, hand-lettered printable drink coasters! They’re the perfect addition to any party.

Click through for the Golden Lass cocktail recipe and our free coaster printable

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Wedding Invitation Challenge: Special Prize Winners

We’re excited to announce the special prize winners of our To Have and To Hold Wedding Invitation Challenge! In this challenge we asked you to show us your freshest take on the classic wedding invitation, with original designs that engaged couples can’t find anywhere else. We were beyond wowed with everyone’s take on fresh modern designs! The designs below are the best in show for our special prize categories. Congratulations, winners!

The Trifecta Award based on the strength of submissions to this challenge: Phrosné Ras
We selected one designer to receive guaranteed placement in email, catalog,
and a homepage banner to help build his or her brand on Minted.

Featuring: Amazing Watercolor” | “Gold Portrait” | “Dainty Deco” | “The Wedding Bouquet” | “Enchanting Plum

Phrosné continues to perfectly execute bold and striking designs. She is a pro at delicate layering, and soft symmetric water-colors. Phrosné’s masterpieces pop against subtle backgrounds. Her compositions are often classic and elegant, but she’s not afraid to add a splash of dramatic boldness. Phrosné says, “making things beautiful – it truly feeds my soul.” We see this throughout her entire collection. We’re so grateful to have Phrosné in our community!

Collection Award for the designer who is guaranteed at least five total picks across the challenge and other wedding challenges: Lori Wemple

 Featuring: Organic” | “Jardin” | “Floral Crown” | “Swoon” | “Monogram Floral

Lori’s submissions blew us away: she consistently crafts designs with intricate detail, striking typefaces, and well-chosen copy. Lori sprinkles subtle visual details throughout her pieces that add to the overall look without feeling crowded. She evokes a sense of fluidity throughout her work. We’re absolutely thrilled to have your work on Minted!

Enduring Elegance Award for the design that best sets the state for a sophisticated
elegant event while still being fresh and modern
Garden Flourish” by Kelly Schmidt

Garden flourish brings a clean yet rustic feel to an elegant wedding invitation. The curvilinear design and airy typeface of this piece remind us of a warm breeze on a beautiful summer day. The text below contrasts the swirls with formal block lettering and a clear, functional space for type. This design truly flourishes!

Runners Up: Gilt” by Lauren Chism | “Sabrina” by Olivia Kanaley | Elegant Marble” by Wind-Up Key Press | A Golden Date” by Susan Brown 

Click through to see more special prize winners from our invitation challenge


DIY: St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Garland

I’m planning a little hunt for St. Patrick’s Day and thought the end of the rainbow would be the best place for the final treasure. Since I can’t conjure up a real rainbow on demand, this rainbow watercolor garland is the next best thing.

st patrick's day decorations

Click through for the easy step-by-step instructions