The moment there’s a chill in the air, I must have hot chocolate. In today’s post I’m sharing a fun and creative way to sip hot cocoa with friends and family: with a hot chocolate charcuterie board! I guarantee that this hot chocolate board will me a major hit at any gathering.
If you’ve been a CBC reader for a bit, then you know how much I love a grazing board. Whether it’s a traditional charcuterie board with meats and cheeses or a sweet and savory dessert board (like this Halloween board), I am here for it.
How to Make a Hot Chocolate Charcuterie Board
Traditionally, charcuterie is the French tradition for preparing and assembling cured meats. Technically a charcuterie board must include meat, but we’re going to give ourselves a free pass here for this hot cocoa board. In today’s world you can pretty much throw anything themed onto a cutting board or serving tray and call it a charcuterie board.
So then, what exactly is a hot chocolate charcuterie board? Well, I’m glad you asked! It’s basically a smorgasbord of hot chocolate mix plus a ton of cozy fixings to take your mug of hot cocoa to the next level.
What You Need
The main star of any hot chocolate board is, of course, the hot cocoa mix. Whether you’re spooning the mix into a bowl or making hot chocolate bombs for your board, this is your foundation.
Here’s what I included in my board:
- Homemade hot chocolate bombs (see recipe here)
- Mini marshmallows
- Large, flavored marshmallows
- Mini candy canes
- Peppermint bark
- Sea salt caramel chocolates
- White chocolate covered pretzel sticks
- Cinnamon sticks
- Hazelnut wafer sticks
- Hershey’s kisses
Here are some other fixings to include on your board:
- Chocolate chips
- Fresh whipped cream
- Caramel or chocolate syrup
- Coconut flakes
- Peppermint liqueur or Bailey’s Irish cream (for an adult board)
I generally use the same formula to assemble my boards, regardless of their contents. And just like any other board, the total time it took me to make this one was about 5 minutes.
Step 1: Choose Your Board
Grab a cutting board or serving platter. Target, Anthropologie, and Crate & Barrel are my favorite places to shop for boards. The more people you’re feeding, the bigger board you will need. The board I used here is 14” in diameter and easily works for 4 people.
SHOP SERVING BOARDS
Step 2: Place bowls first
Place anything that’s in a jar or needs to be contained in small bowls (like whipped cream, hot cocoa powder, or chocolate syrup) first. For aesthetic reasons I prefer to use bowls in odd numbers, so one bowl or three bowls.
You can always scoot your bowls as needed, but I like to put these down first to serve as anchor points. If you’re using one bowl, either put it in the dead centner of your board or skew it far enough to the side where it looks intentionally asymmetrical.
Step 3: Start with larger items
After I place my small bowls, I’ll proceed with the largest items that need to go onto my board.
For this hot chocolate charcuterie board, that includes the hazelnut wafer sticks and chocolate covered pretzel sticks. Since both items are so long, they need the most real estate, and then I can fill in any gaps with other, smaller ingredients.
Step 4: Fill in Gaps
The trick to any beautiful grazing board is that it needs to look stuffed and full. That’s where smaller things like marshmallows, peppermint bark bits, and cinnamon sticks come into play.
Identify where you have large spaces and gaps, then pile it on!
PRO TIP: Part of the fun of making these boards is also the aesthetic component to them. As you’re placing the items on your hot chocolate charcuterie board, be mindful of colors. Try not to put two things of the same color next to each other. This will help the board look well-balanced and not color-heavy on one side or another.
Make Your Own Hot Chocolate Mix
Okay so, here’s the thing. If you’re going to elevate your cocoa-drinking by making a beautiful hot chocolate board, you may as well spend the extra couple of minutes making homemade cocoa mix.
Hot cocoa mix is crazy easy to make and in my opinion tastes SO much better than the super sugary store-bought stuff.
Here’s how to make it:
Add 1 cup of cocoa powder to 2 cups of sugar, then finish with a pinch of sea salt. I like to toss everything into a food processor to mix it, but you can use an electric hand mixer or a good old fashioned spoon. Just make sure you mix it super well.