How to Set up a Hot Chocolate Bar + A Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe!

hot chocolate bar

With all of the holiday activities and people coming and going, I love the idea of offering a hot chocolate bar to family and friends. It can be festive enough for a party or just a casual, cozy way of welcoming and warming up everyone when they arrive. Both children and adults can enjoy creating their own custom hot chocolate. Here are a few basics, but feel free to get creative and have fun choosing your own toppings and mix-ins.

Start with the basics:

  • Gather some Christmas mugs (they don’t have to match). I found these wonderful big mugs with matching spoons by Spode in their classic Christmas pattern on sale for 65% off!
  • Make sure you have spoons or stirrers.   You could even use colorful candy canes or cinnamon sticks
  • Use scoops for the hot chocolate mix and small spoons for the toppings

hot chocolate bar

For the hot chocolate, you can buy some prepared delicious mixes such as these from Williams Sonoma or Starbucks. Or you can make your own mix and place it in a cute cannister like this one I found at The Container Store. I included a recipe for making your own hot chocolate mix below.

hot chocolate bar

You will need to have a thermal dispenser of hot water or steamed milk. You could make the hot chocolate ahead of time and put it in the thermal pitcher instead of using a mix.  Or you can use chocolate cups in your coffee maker.

Then comes the fun part.

hot chocolate bar

There are so many mix-ins and toppings to put in small bowls or small pitchers. A few ideas…

  • Flavored, colorful decorated marshmallows in unusual shapes. Williams Sonoma has a wonderful variety of these
  • Chocolate chips
  • Peppermint Crunch, which I found at Michael’s Craft Store
  • Whipped Cream
  • Crumbled Oreso cookies
  • Gingerbread mug huggers, like these Santa ones from Williams Sonoma
  • Candy canes or cinnamon sticks
  • For the adults, you could offer Bailey’s Irish Cream or Peppermint Schnapps


Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
  1. 2 cups Confectioners Sugar
  2. 1 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  3. 2 cups Powdered Milk or Instant Nonfat Dry Milk
  4. 1/8 tsp salt
  1. Mix all of the ingredients with a whisk to make sure there are no lumps and all is well-blended. To serve, mix equal parts hot chocolate mix and hot water: ½ cup mix and ½ cup hot water
Simply the Best from Barbara McKay

 Tell Me: How do you enjoy your hot chocolate? 


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