Whether you set up a hot chocolate bar that’s elaborate, or a simple one at home, there are many ways to prepare a warm cup of chocolate-y brew. We want to share our hot chocolate bar ideas with you! We'll give you the steps to make your own DIY hot chocolate bar!
HOT CHOCOLATE BAR IDEAS
A hot chocolate bar adds something special. It’s an easy way to serve hot chocolate for a crowd. We love the idea of a hot cocoa bar at a family party, a cookie exchange, wedding or baby showers, large events, and even at home. When it's chilly outside, serving hot cocoa is always a good idea!
EVENT HOT CHOCOLATE BAR
My friends Mary and Sheri built a rustic hot chocolate bar for a church Christmas breakfast (see title pic). We filled hot chocolate containers with yummy hot chocolate, and then displayed an assortment of hot chocolate bar toppings in tall canning jars.
We used simple labels from an office supply store to identify the mix-ins. Guests had a grand time picking and choosing treats to dress up their cups.
HOT CHOCOLATE BAR FOR WEDDING
Hot chocolate bars for winter wedding receptions are popular. Alyssa got married in December and had a hot chocolate bar. It was fairly simple with two large urns (hot chocolate containers) filled with dark and white hot chocolates. We added a few extras to the station.
Homemade hot chocolate stirring sticks
Chocolate stirring sticks. Soft peppermint sticks, set in regular-size marshmallows, then dipped in chocolate. The chocolate and marshmallow melted as you stirred the hot liquid, creating a delicious blend of peppermint, deep chocolate and marshmallow. Mmmmmm!
Covered whipped cream cans
We covered cans of spray whipping cream with gold foil wrapping paper. You could use wrapping paper or scrapbook paper to fit your theme.
Add a Cute Sign
A cute sign can make your hot cocoa bar pop. It gives a professional air to your event, and lends a bit of romance. It also answers the question "what's happening in the corner?!" You can make your own sign, or there are free printables on Etsy.com.
HOT CHOCOLATE STATION AT HOME
Our friend Elaine creates a hot chocolate bar each year in her kitchen--it's part of her holiday decor. She organizes packets of different flavors of hot chocolate and herb tea on her kitchen counter. Friends and family know they can stop by for a special warm treat over a couple of months. What an inviting idea.
HOT COCOA STAND
Another DIY hot chocolate bar idea is a kid’s hot cocoa stand. Our friend Nicole built this cute hot chocolate stand for her daughters to sell hot cocoa. I can just imagine walking past this stand on a snowy day and buying a warm cup from three darling girls.
DIY HOT CHOCOLATE BAR
How to make a hot chocolate bar
We have five tips for how to make a hot chocolate bar. Check them out!
Do you have a special recipe for hot chocolate? Try our best hot chocolate mix recipe below. It’s easy and it’s sooo good. You could also use a prepared mix from your local supermarket.
Where will you put your hot chocolate station? At home you don't need a lot of space. There's no right or wrong way. A small table, or spot on your kitchen counter works well. My friends Elaine and Sheri set theirs on a kitchen counter and keep it simple.
Make a list of everything you will need for your hot cocoa bar and gather your supplies. You’ll need cups, napkins and spoons or stirring sticks. Next, decide if you’d like an urn/ hot chocolate container, a container of hot milk or water plus homemade hot chocolate mix, or simply a container or packets of hot chocolate.
Organize and set up your bar: keep in mind decor, presentation, extra supplies and a sign, if you want one. A pretty tray or even a baking pan or cookie sheet can help organize your supplies.
What kind of hot chocolate bar toppings or mix-ins would you like? Let your creativity flow in dreaming up exciting combinations. Here's a quick list of toppings ideas to get you started.
Look around your house to see what you already have that you can use. Pedestal cake plates make a fun stand for spoons, straws or shakers of cinnamon.
Cute scoops or spoons, bows and pom poms can all add festive flair! How about a hot cocoa bar sign? You can write on a chalk board. Etsy offers a variety of signs to download and print. Or be creative and just make your own!
Ingredients For Homemade Hot Chocolate
Our hot chocolate mix is an easy way to serve hot chocolate for a crowd. It has a long shelf life and you can mix it quickly with hot water. There are five simple ingredients to make the homemade cocoa mix.
- Instant Hot Chocolate Mix. A combination of cocoa, non-fat milk and sugar, forms the base of the mix.
- Powdered Milk. Made by evaporating milk until it’s dry, the powdered milk adds richness and flavor to the hot chocolate mix.
- Powdered Creamer. Powdered creamer makes the hot chocolate richer, smoother and creamier.
- Salt. A little salt enhances the flavor of hot chocolate.
- Powdered Sugar. Powdered sugar sweetness and enhances the flavor of hot chocolate.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For a simple hot chocolate station you need:
Cups, napkins, spoons or stirring sticks, a container of hot chocolate, or packets of hot chocolate with hot milk or hot water.
Try adding fun toppings like whipping cream, marshmallows, candy canes, sprinkles and flavored syrups.
You can make hot chocolate from scratch using cocoa powder, or baking chocolate. We have a recipe at the end of this post. Or check out these other In Fine Taste hot chocolate recipes:
Skinny hot chocolate
French Hot chocolate
To decorate a hot chocolate bar try making or buying a cute sign. There are free printables and signs to buy on etsy.com. Try these by Pretty Sweet Printables.
Use a tray to hold your items. Pedestal cake plates make a fun stand for spoons, straws or shakers of cinnamon. Cute scoops or spoons, bows and pom-poms can all add festive flair.
Try melting bars of high quality chocolate to take your hot chocolate to the next level. Another high quality hot chocolate is this recipe for French Hot Chocolate.
Storage and Serving Tips
Storing hot chocolate:
If your hot chocolate is already mixed, it will stay fresh covered in the refrigerator for two to three days.
You can freeze it in a sealed container for about three months. According to the USDA, you should re-heat it thoroughly to a temperature of 165 degrees.
If you make the best hot chocolate mix recipe, or another powdered mix, it will stay fresh in a sealed container for about six months in dry form.
Serving hot chocolate:
To keep hot chocolate hot at a party, you can keep it in a crockpot on low heat. You can also keep it in an electric coffee maker or hot chocolate container with a sterno under it.
Your Own Homemade Hot Cocoa Bar
You will have so much fun making your own hot chocolate bar! Check out our homemade hot chocolate mix recipe to use. Your hot cocoa bar could even be the dessert for your event (talk about easy). Try a hot chocolate bar for wedding, for Christmas or New Year's Eve, for a cookie exchange, shower or party, or just because!
P.S. If you tried this recipe or any other In Fine Taste recipe take a second and rate it below! We love hearing what you think. Let’s stay in touch! Sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest for more recipe ideas.
Hot Chocolate Mix for Hot Cocoa Bar
- Instant powdered milk to make 2 quarts
- 1 pound instant hot chocolate mix such as Swiss Miss or Nestle
- ½ pound Coffee Mate type product
- ½ pound powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Mix together and store in a dry, tight container.
- To serve, add ¼ cup mix to 1 cup of hot water.
- Total recipes makes ½ gallon of mix or 32 cups hot chocolate.
- This also makes a great Christmas gift from the kitchen for friends:
- How long can your store hot chocolate? If your hot chocolate is already mixed, it will stay fresh covered in the refrigerator for two to three days. If you make the best hot chocolate mix recipe, or another powdered mix, it will stay fresh in a sealed container for about six months
- How do you keep hot chocolate hot at a party? To keep hot chocolate hot at a party, you can keep it in a crockpot on low heat. You can also keep it in an electric coffee maker or hot chocolate container with a sterno under it.