How to Host a Hot Chocolate Bar

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—hot chocolate season! And there’s no better way to celebrate than with a hot chocolate bar. It’s not only the perfect pairing for at-home cookie exchanges or gingerbread house decorating parties, but it’s also easy to adapt to any party size.

Here’s how you can spread some cheer this holiday season with your own hot chocolate bar!

Hot Chocolate Charcuterie Board

1. Choose the Right Cups

In this case, bigger is better. Cups that are too small make it difficult for people to add their own toppings like a heap of whipped cream or a mountain of chocolate shavings. We suggest setting out cups that can hold about 12 oz. (350 g) each, which gives your guests plenty of room to add whatever they want to their hot chocolate.

2. Set Up Your Stations

Your hot chocolate bar doesn’t have to take up a ton of space. It can be as simple as a tray of mugs and a hot chocolate charcuterie board or an elaborate display across your buffet table. Whatever you choose, make sure there are at least three stations: one station for your guests to grab cups, spoons, and straws, one station for serving the hot chocolate, and one station for all the toppings.

Hot Chocolate Charcuterie Board Holiday Display
Use the Lazy Susan and the 1-qt. (1-L) Enameled Cast Iron Milk Pan to create your hot chocolate bar.

3. Select the Toppings

When it comes to toppings, the possibilities are endless. You can stick with the tried-and-true options (whipped cream, marshmallows, or peppermint pieces) or try something more adventurous like flavored whipped cream (vegan recipe also available), cookie crumbles, or chopped nuts. Check out this article for more topping ideas. 

4. Offer Some Sweet Treats

While hot chocolate is the most important part of a hot chocolate bar, it shouldn’t be the only part. You can also offer some sweet treats that complement a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Not sure what to serve? Here are a few ideas.

12 Responses to How to Host a Hot Chocolate Bar

  1. Terry Weems November 10, 2021 at 9:30 pm #

    I love this idea can’t wait to use it for my ladies cookies exchange in Dec.

  2. CoffeeGirlEats November 13, 2021 at 7:06 am #

    What an incredible idea. I think we will be doing this Christmas Eve ☕️

  3. Darlene Richardson November 13, 2021 at 3:48 pm #

    Marvelous idea!

  4. Pam Voorhees November 23, 2021 at 9:21 pm #

    This looks like it could be alot of fun. May have to try it sometime soon.

  5. Judith Williams December 6, 2021 at 12:06 pm #

    Am looking forward to doing this with my three older grandchildren. Am having fun planning the sweets and the toppings and where I will set it up.

  6. Elizabeth December 22, 2021 at 7:10 pm #

    This looks so cute and fun, I’ll have to try it.

  7. Jill McCaskill December 23, 2021 at 12:40 am #

    This is such a neat idea.

  8. Nancy Palmerine December 23, 2021 at 4:54 am #

    Fantastic ideas! Thank you!

  9. Fran Coletti December 23, 2021 at 7:52 am #

    Looks so festive. Can’t wait to try it the next time it snows..
    Fran Coletti

  10. Renee Zender January 4, 2022 at 9:43 pm #

    Thank you for sharing. Definitely fun

  11. Burgess November 13, 2022 at 8:19 am #

    I love the Chocolate Bar idea thanks for sharing.

  12. Beth December 22, 2022 at 5:09 pm #

    I’m going to use this idea for Christmas brunch with my family.

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