Home » Blog » Cooking Tips » Hot Chocolate Bar Ideas
| | | | |

Hot Chocolate Bar Ideas

A hot chocolate bar is the ultimate cold-weather celebration idea! Set up a hot cocoa bar for your Christmas traditions or any winter gathering. Read on for everything you need to know. We’ll cover the best hot cocoa, all the toppings, add-ins, and supplies you’ll need to create an epic hot chocolate station!

Enjoying a mug of hot cocoa at a DIY hot chocolate bar.

The Best Hot Chocolate Recipe for A Hot Cocoa Bar

The best way to serve hot chocolate for a hot cocoa bar is to make and serve it in a slow cooker. It is easy to make and the most decadent hot chocolate ever! Plus, you can leave the crockpot plugged in to keep the cocoa hot! 

You could also set up a Keurig with hot chocolate k cups, a pitcher of water to refill it, and a pitcher of cream to add to the cocoa. 

A crockpot of homemade rich and creamy hot chocolate.

The Best Crockpot Hot Chocolate

Save and print this recipe for the best crockpot hot chocolate.

Hot Chocolate Bar Toppings & Add-Ins

Have fun and go wild with dishes of toppings and add-ins for the hot chocolate bar! Some favorite hot cocoa toppings are:

  • Whipped Cream 
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Chocolate Chips
  • White Chocolate Chips
  • Chocolate Shavings
  • Cinnamon Powder
  • Toffee Bits
  • Sprinkles 
  • Sea Salt
  • Chocolate Syrup
  • Caramel
  • Peppermint sticks
  • Candy Canes
  • Chocolate Wafer Sticks
Fancy toppings set up for a DIY hot chocolate station.

Pro-tip:  Use a vegetable peeler or a knife to shave a chocolate bar into thin pieces and serve them in a bowl.

Adult Add-ins to Make Spiked Hot Chocolate

Include a mini bar for the adults to spike their hot chocolate! Choose your favorite liquor or liqueur add-ins and include a jigger or shot glasses. I’ve got to shout out a couple of our more local specialties. Ole Smoky Distillery in Tennessee has several options that pair with hot chocolate!

A selection of liqueurs and alcohol for a hot chocolate bar.

Some spiked hot chocolate options include: 

  • Kahlua
  • Peanut Butter Whiskey
  • White Chocolate Strawberry Cream Moonshine
  • Baileys Irish Cream
  • Peppermint Schnapps
  • Amaretto 
  • Dark Rum
  • Bourbon

Consider Adding Coffee, Tea, and Cider

Pro-tip:  Mix half hot chocolate and half coffee to make a variation of a cafe mocha!

Some people may want to avoid hot cocoa. This includes anyone watching their sugar intake or avoiding dairy. It’s easy to add a pot of coffee or a kettle of hot water for tea drinkers. We usually have several people at our gatherings who aren’t able to drink hot chocolate. Even if they want hot chocolate, adults may enjoy a Cafe Mocha. It’s nice to have options!

For Coffee

Set up an electric percolator coffee maker or fill an insulated carafe with brewed coffee. Include a pitcher of cream and a bowl or packets of sugar.

For Hot Tea and Cider

Set up an electric kettle full of hot water or fill an insulated carafe with hot water. Add a variety of tea packets, apple cider mix, cream, sugar, and lemon wedges.

Hot Chocolate Bar Supplies

A DIY hot chocolate bar with everything you need.
  • A place to set up the bar: This can be on your counter, on a buffet server, on a dining table, or on a folding table. 
  • An electrical outlet and extension cord if you’re serving the cocoa in a slow cooker or setting up a Keurig. 
  • A 3 quart slow cooker (or bigger to make a double or triple batch of cocoa).
  • An electric kettle, electric percolator, or insulated carafe if you’re serving coffee, tea, or cider.
  • Ladle for serving.
  • A saucer (small plate) to rest the ladle on when not in use.
  • Assorted mugs or disposable coffee cups with sleeves. Use small mugs or 8-ounce cups since the hot cocoa is so rich. Larger cups of cocoa might also get cold before they’re finished. People can always go back for seconds. 🙂 These Christmas To-Go Cups are adorable and have sleeves to keep hands from burning!
  • Spoons or wooden stirrers for stirring.
  • Cocktail napkins
  • Dishes for the toppings, add-ins, and stirrers. Use a variety of decorative bowls. I like to use a clear glass to keep everything cohesive. 
  • Spoons for the toppings. I like these little cocktail spoons. 
  • A cocktail jigger or shot glasses if you include alcohol.
  • Risers to create height in your display. You can use crates, small boxes, or cake stands to add levels and dimension to the cocoa bar. 
  • A festive tablecloth.
  • Labels. Mini chalkboards, labels, and chalk to label everything.
  • Sharpies to write names on disposable cups.
  • A small trash can.
  • A dish bin or area. A designated area for empty mugs and dirty spoons. I bought a couple of bus tubs from a restaurant supply store and use them all the time!
  • Cute decorations: Add a variety of ribbons and table scatter to make the cocoa bar look cute and festive. 
Mugs and cocktail napkins are arranged beside a crockpot of hot chocolate at a hot cocoa bar.

What to Serve with Your Hot Chocolate Bar

If you want to take this to the next level, try including some tasty snacks with your cocoa bar! Try a mix of sweet and savory. Some ideas include:

When to Make a Hot Chocolate Bar

A hot chocolate station is a great idea for any fall or winter celebration or event. If there are people gathered during cold weather, this will be a hit! That said, here are some ideas for when to set up a hot cocoa bar! 

  • On Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning
  • On New Year’s Eve
  • At a Cookie Swap
  • During Holiday Parties
  • On Halloween with Halloween themed decorations
  • On Thanksgiving for Dessert with assorted pies
  • At Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day Party with assorted chocolates
  • A Hot Cocoa Bar Party for a winter bridal shower, wedding shower, or baby shower
  • A family movie night
  • A sleepover or slumber party

Tag @mandiofthemountains on Instagram with pictures of your cocoa bar or hot chocolate bar! I can’t wait to see what you make!

A mug of hot chocolate at a hot chocolate bar with marshmallows, toffee bits, chocolate chips, whipped cream, and a peppermint stick.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *