Hot cocoa, anyone? Gather friends, family, and kids this winter with this fun and tasty DIY hot cocoa bar.
Indulging in a warm cup of hot cocoa is a delightful winter ritual, and it’s a comforting treat that brings people young and old together. There’s something truly magical about the rich, velvety concoction, made even better when shared with family and friends.
Enter: a DIY hot cocoa bar.
This fun idea allows you to completely elevate and tailor the hot chocolate experience to your personal tastebuds, while also creating a fun cold-weather activity for all ages.
Although a hot chocolate station is a fun setup to celebrate holiday cheer, it’s also a great way to warm up with the ones you love during any cold month. It’s the perfect entertainment source for kids on a chilly day and a great focal point for holiday parties, cookie exchanges, and even start of the year get-togethers.
Get ready to throw a hot chocolate bar party with these tips on how to create one of your own, right at home.
How to Set Up a DIY Hot Cocoa Bar
The great news about this DIY hot chocolate bar is that there’s no one correct way to create one.
They’re easy to set up, and you can be as minimalist or over-the-top as you want with your hot chocolate area and toppings.
As long as you have a big enough area to put everything on, you’re good to go.
From there, you can really decide on everything else, from mugs and toppings to homemade hot chocolate mix or store-bough hot cocoa mix.
What to Put on a Hot Cocoa Bar
Half the fun of doing a make your own hot chocolate station are all the yummy toppings!
There are so many fun toppings for a DIY hot cocoa bar, but here are my personal favorites:
- Caramel sauce
- Chocolate sauce or hot fudge
- Candy canes
- Chocolate chips
- Whipping cream
- Nuts like pecans or walnuts
- Toffee bits
- Marshmallows or mini marshmallows
- Cinnamon sticks
- Chocolate or white chocolate shavings
- Crushed peppermint
- Chocolate truffles
- Hazelnut Pirouette cookies
- Extra cocoa powder
Of course, the other extremely important factor in any hot cocoa bar is the actual hot cocoa.
I don’t have a personal favorite homemade hot chocolate recipe, so I just stick to Swiss Miss hot cocoa mix. You can also use hot chocolate bombs or have pre-made hot chocolate already mixed, simmering in a slow cooker.
How to Make a Hot Cocoa Bar
Create Your Cocoa Bar Station
First, locate a large enough surface in your home where you can where you can set up a hot chocolate station.
This can be a bar cart, table, or even a media cabinet surface (which is what I did).
Grab Mugs & Accessories
Before you can even lay out all the delicious hot chocolate toppings, you need to think about what to put everything in.
I always have mason jars on hand because they’re the perfect blank canvas and vessel to house things for lots of occasions.
In addition to being useful containers for this DIY hot cocoa bar, I use mason jars to hold cutlery, napkins, and straws when entertaining, and for salad dressing and overnight oats.
You can use a variety of sizes as well as small bowls to create some visual interest and height variance.
PRO TIP: If you’re hosting a hot chocolate bar party, use the mugs as a sweet take-home favor.
I like to set the mugs on one side to indicate the “start” of the hot cocoa buffet line.
Add Your Toppings
Once you have all your mason jars and bowls at the ready, fill them with the fun toppings
Now, your hot cocoa bar is ready and you’re ready to throw a hot chocolate bar party!
More Hot Cocoa Bar Ideas
Pick a Theme
I’m a sucker for a good theme, and there’s no reason why you can’t have one for your hot chocolate bar.
I always like doing a cohesive color palette of 1-3 colors, but you can also do snowflakes, new year’s, santa, plaid, etc.
Add a Hot Cocoa Bar Sign
An easy way to instantly dress up your hot chocolate station is to add a sign.
There are tons of affordable, printable signs you can purchase from Etsy, or just make your own.
I simply printed up a sign from my home printed, then framed it in a simple picture frame – and viola!
Labels are a great way to let your guest easily identify al of the fun toppings in front of them.