What could be more festive than a Hot chocolate bar that is ready for your guests and family to enjoy homemade hot? It is the perfect way to warm up on a cold day. Then, add tops and mix-ins to make it a gourmet indulgent treat.
How to Setup a Hot Chocolate Bar
It is fun to set up a self-serve hot chocolate bar. To keep things interesting, I choose a different theme for our Hot Chocolate Bar every year. It is perfect for holiday parties, baby showers, birthdays, etc.
Invite guests to come in a warm-up with a decadent hot chocolate.
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PLEASE NOTE: Supplies are limited in stores. Therefore, I have gathered some of my must-haves for a Hot Chocolate Bar in my Amazon Store.
I used items from my yard to decorate my hot chocolate bar such as pine sprigs, pinecones, and my DIY pinecone trees.
Just a little inspiration to get you started. I like to set up a Hot Chocolate Bar for Thanksgiving since it is my favorite way to kick off the holiday season.
It is for everyone to enjoy both young and old. It is fun to pick a theme and change it up a little year to year, but I always include my vintage Santa mugs. Lots of delicious toppings, and mix in sauces, whipped cream, etc.
Recipes for Hot Chocolate
There are many ways to make hot chocolate. Some of these ways are easier than others to set up as a self-serve hot chocolate bar. I have included some of my favorite ways to make this cozy treat.
Keurig Coffee Maker
The easiest way to serve hot chocolate is with a Keurig coffee maker and hot chocolate pods. You can place the coffee maker on a countertop or table with a basket filled with various hot chocolate and coffee k-cups.
Hot Chocolate Maker
Hot Chocolate Bombs
Everyone loves to watch them melt and explode with all the goodies hidden inside their chocolate shell. However, I do not recommend serving these for a large crowd unless you have plenty of space and multiple milk servers.
However, these make a gorgeous party favor for guests to take home. Don’t forget the adorable tags.
Hersey’s Hot Cocoa
The Hersey Company has the original “Perfectly Chocolate” hot cocoa recipe printed on the side of their cocoa box. I remember my father standing over the stove making hot cocoa for the family. I have so many fond memories of sipping hot cocoa.
Crockpot (Slow Cooker)
For the Ultimate Gourmet Hot Chocolate (Serenidtiy-style), I serve Crockpot Hot Chocolate from an insulated server. Since the Crockpot recipe takes two hours to make, I make it a day ahead and refrigerate it until I am ready to serve.
I heat the mixture on the stove in a heavy-bottom saucepan. Note: I find it best to heat in batches then transfer the hot mixture to an insulated server.
This recipe is excellent for serving a few guests or a crowd.
Note: This is my favorite hot chocolate recipe ever!
Packets of Hot Cocoa Mix
The invention of the single-serve hot cocoa packets (envelope) made serving hot cocoa almost instant. There are various flavors and sugar-free options to offer your guests. Adding some packs of sugar-free hot cocoa is always a good idea.
You can serve hot milk from an insulated server or water in an electric kettle and allow guests to help themselves.
I like to start with a list of goodies. I would like to offer toppings and sweet treats.
My must-have toppings are mini marshmallows, chocolate and caramel sauce (homemade recipe), whipping cream, chocolate bars (grated or chopped chocolate) or mini chocolate chips, and candy canes (chopped) or crushed peppermints. However, you can include any candies that melt.
Hot Drink Station Set-Up Essentials
Your hot drink station could include hot chocolate, coffee, and tea if space permits. In the past, I have used a small section of the kitchen counter for a simple bar. I have also used the dining buffet for a more elaborate bar. For example, when my children were young, I used a vintage cabinet in my kitchen, but I have moved it to the living room or dining room.
Note: There could be spills, so I place everything on trays.
Gather your recipes, a list of goodies, and any display items needed. After you select the elements, you include on your bar, you will determine how to serve them. For example, I use mason jars and mini scoops for toppings—trays for cookies and other sweet treats.
If you don’t have enough mugs, you can use paper cups with sleeves. I found these adorable buffalo check coffee cups I include on my bar this year.
- Mason Jars
- Baker’s Twine
- Santa Mugs
- Paper cups with lids and sleeves
This year I used rustic and vintage items and buffalo check ribbons.
I used wood slices I cut from a fallen tree; therefore, they were free. All the vintage items I already owned, so no expense there either—all the mason jars I had on hand. I purchased the ribbon, and I made the cute labels.
If you have a dollar store in your area you can find glass or ceramic mugs for a dollar or less. To add some festive fun to my plain one-dollar mugs I added a vinyl decal Cheers.
The below photo includes the handmade Rae Dunn-inspired block signs (see this earlier post about making them). You can whip these up in a flash.
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Join me with this special invitation. And have the best of everything this holiday. Have a Merry Christmas, and enjoy all the blessings of the season!
Place all of your display items on the bar. Once you are happy with the display, please take off your jars, fill them with the goodies and tie your labels on with ribbon or baker’s twine.
My Latest Video:
Hot Chocolate Bar Sign
While setting up your hot cocoa bar for Christmas, you can gather items you love, such as this Baby, it’s cold outside sign I made a few years ago, but I love it, so I added it to the hot cocoa bar again this year. Here is a similar one you can order.
The hot chocolate bar block signs I made a few years (you can see how to make one in this earlier post).
More Hot Chocolate Bar Inspiration
Set up a woodland-themed hot cocoa bar in a tiny corner on your kitchen counter. This simple, small-space hot cocoa bar is pretty enough to be the only Christmas decoration in a small kitchen too.
Elegant Hot Chocolate Bar includes hot cocoa bombs, different flavors of hot chocolate, and a cocoa sign that make this festive and pretty. It welcomes our guests to enjoy a hot beverage at our hot chocolate bar.
Bring some holiday cheer to your home by creating a festive and functional hot chocolate stand in your kitchen using a tiered tray and vintage Christmas decorations.
My sweet and talented daughter, Olivia, joined me this year on the Hot Chocolate Bar tour. She has a ton of DIY ideas you do not want to miss.
Over on The House on Silverado, my friend, Niky, shares setting up an adult and kid-friendly hot chocolate bar.
From Home with Jemma, my friend Jemma always delights with her decorating, so you are in for a special treat.
Lia’s from Southern Yankee DIY’s Hot Cocoa Bar. My friend Lia has been enjoying the south, but it got a wee bit chilly, so she set up her hot cocoa bar early to warm up, sipping hot cocoa in front of the fire.
Thank you for your visit today. I hope you found some sweet inspiration.