Set Up a Holiday Hot Chocolate Bar

Sundae stations are great in the summer, but winter gatherings call for sweets that will warm you up. This holiday season, let family and friends create their own holiday treat by setting up a hot cocoa bar stocked with all their favorite toppings like whipped cream, chocolate chips, peppermints and more.

September 25, 2020
Mug of Hot Chocolate With Candy Toppings

Hot Chocolate With Toppings

During the winter, offer guests an alternate sundae station by creating a hot chocolate bar. Set out toppings like whipped cream, chocolate chips and peppermints, so they can create the ultimate holiday treat.

Photo by: Wynn Myers

Wynn Myers

During the winter, offer guests an alternate sundae station by creating a hot chocolate bar. Set out toppings like whipped cream, chocolate chips and peppermints, so they can create the ultimate holiday treat.

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients for Simple Hot Chocolate

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • butterscotch chips
  • semisweet chocolate chips
  • peppermint melts or candy canes
  • whipped cream
  • sprinkles
  • chocolate syrup
  • regular marshmallows
  • peppermint marshmallows
  • optional: peppermint schnapps or amaretto, for spiking

Hot Chocolate Instructions

Heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat until barely simmering. Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate. Whisk mixture until chocolate is melted, then add vanilla and whisk to combine.

Set Up a Self-Serve Station

Transfer hot chocolate to an insulated thermos or carafe and place on the bar with mugs or travel cups with coffee sleeves.

Coffee Bar Sign

Coffee Bar Sign

An inexpensive framed chalkboard provides a perfect canvas for a favorite quote on this coffee bar.

Photo by: Sarah Busby

Sarah Busby

Transfer all topping ingredients to individual serving bowls, and place next to hot cocoa on bar.

Drink station with hot chocolate toppings in vintage wooden box

Holiday Party Cocoa Bar

An antique toolbox houses the toppings for a make-your-own cocoa bar. And a simple strand of white lights is an easy way to make any modern room feel instantly festive.

Photo by: Wynn Myers

Wynn Myers

If desired, place bottles of peppermint schnapps or amaretto on bar.

Drink station with mugs, thermos, and bourbon

Hot Chocolate Bar

When nestled inside a green cypress garland, a wooden crate becomes a charming rustic display for white ceramic cocoa mugs.

Photo by: Wynn Myers

Wynn Myers

Invite guests to build their ultimate hot chocolate treat using their favorite ingredients.

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