A hot chocolate bar is the perfect addition to any holiday party! These hot chocolate bar ideas will give you all the inspiration you need to put together a beautiful hot cocoa board for Christmas.
This time of year, everyone seems to be planning a party. You are too, right? Or maybe you want to set up a simple, kid-friendly afternoon for you and your family on a snowy day?
Well, if you are, or just want something to daydream about, how about planning a hot chocolate bar? The idea is the same as self-serve coffee service, but with less caffeine and more mmmm.
Your hot chocolate bar can be as low-key as having a pan on the stove with a ladle and some mugs, or as extravagant as, well, the sky’s the limit. Sugar, sugar, everywhere. Tis the season!
When thinking about what you want to put out, it can be a bit overwhelming. Chocolate has a lot of fans, after all. So here are a few ideas, suggestions, recommendations, and more to get you going.
Happy Hot Chocolate Days!
First, you need to decide if you want a theme. Around here, we love a theme. Even if that theme is no theme. No matter what it ends up with hot chocolate.
There are endless instant cocoas on the market, but don’t forget you can make your own. It’s gently warmed water, milk, non-dairy milk or cream, sugar, and cocoa powder. That’s all. You just whisk until the sugar melts and it’s ready. You can add flavorings or leave that to your guests to customize as they like, while making sure the littles have someone to help them create a beverage of their own.
Every hot chocolate bar will need mugs, napkins, stirrers, and plates in addition to the requisite marshmallows, chocolate chips, caramel and chocolate sauce, whipped cream, non-dairy whipped topping, additional cocoa powder and an option or two for the sugar and dairy-free folks.
5 of Our Favorite Hot Chocolate Bar Ideas
1. Candy Cane Heaven
For this mint-lovers delight, start with your favorite hot chocolate recipe, but make it with Guittard Cocoa Rouge. It’s a deep, rich cocoa powder with a gorgeous, natural red tint. Your guests will love it. Then wind candy striped twine around the handles of your mugs and make sure to set out whole and crushed candy canes, minty whipped cream, Peppermint Oreo Balls, mint-chocolate crème candies, and if you can, absolutely include some chocolate-covered mint Oreo’s or Jo-Jo’s.
2. Farmhouse Chic
To honor all those hard-working dairy farmers, go for it and make your hot cocoa will the richest heavy cream you can find and serve the warm beverage in your favorite mason jars. Use cute little glass milk bottles with long spoons for the toppings. You’ll for sure need whipped cream, vanilla marshmallows, toffee bits, marshmallow cream, milk chocolate syrup, and milk chocolate curls. Go over the top and search online for some old-fashioned Cow Tails candies if you really want that farm house theme.
3. Cookies, Cookies, Cookies
Line your buffet with craft paper and get out every cookie you can think of. Do it up with homemade sugar cookies, Christmas M&M cookies, pizzelles, Rice Krispie treats, and classic spritz cookies and don’t forget the store-bought pirouline, Pocky, graham cracker crumbs, and all the gingerbread people. The piece de resistance though? Chocolate chip cookie edible shot glasses to really take things over the top. Include some bowls of frosting and cookie butter and small palate knives for creative sandwiching. Warm up hot, milk chocolate and let your guests get their Cookie Monster on.
4. Après Ski
For your grown-up party, make that hot chocolate bar an actual bar. Heat up batches of white and dark hot chocolate and have on hand your favorite festive liqueurs like Crème de Menthe, Butterscotch and Peppermint Schnapps, Kahlúa, Drambuie, and Irish Cream. Put out liquid measure pour spouts or have a jigger or shot glass with measurements to help keep things balanced. Since this is for the grown-ups, you can offer up a spicy Mexican hot chocolate with cinnamon sticks. To make the party a little wild, have a small kitchen torch available for guests to get toasty and brûlée their marshmallows.
5. Glittering Lights, Hot Chocolate Nights
This is for the crowd who loves a bit of shine. Add some edible metallic food color to your assortment of hot chocolates, get all the food-grade glitter, sparkle sugar, spray on shimmer and put out bowls of gold and silver candy toppings. Weave tiny LED lights around the table and then set the holiday music to disco-Christmas and have a jolly good time.
Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s hot chocolate time.