December 12, 2013

Hot Cocoa Bar Ideas

Thank you SO MUCH for all of your sweet comments on my Merry Modern Holiday Home Tour! You really know how to put a smile on this girl's face :)

If you went on the virtual tour of my home, you probably noticed the hot cocoa bar I set up in our dining room:

I put the bar together for the photos and not an actual party but I wanted to share some hot cocoa bar ideas with you today in case you're entertaining friends and family this year and would like to set one up yourself.

In addition to the star of the bar (the hot cocoa), I included some simple toppings/mix-ins:

They were:
  • Toffee bits
  • Mini marshmallows (jumbo sized ones would be fun to include too!)
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Crushed candy cane pieces

Other topping ideas include:
  • Andes mints
  • Caramels or caramel sauce
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Cinnamon candies
  • Chopped nuts (make sure no one is allergic!)
  • Crushed graham cracker pieces
  • Sprinkles

I also stuffed some plastic baggie lined Santa boot ornaments with some sweet treats:

They were:
  • Chocolate fudge filled Pirouette cookies (shown above)
  • Chocolate covered pretzels with a white chocolate drizzle

I wanted to include some mini cheesecake bites and some cookies as well but our console table wasn't large enough to fit everything so I set out a tray of cookies and candy canes on our bar instead:

Other sweet treat ideas include:
  • Brownies
  • Chocolate covered cherries or strawberries
  • Cupcakes
  • Fudge
  • Holiday themed puppy chow
  • Jumbo marshmallows (as-is or dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with candy cane pieces, toffee bits, sprinkles, etc.)
  • Peppermint bark

I used plain white dishes to display our offerings and I varied the heights of the bowls by placing two of them in the bottom half of gift boxes and one of them on a wooden cutting board.

I kept the decor simple since my table was on the smaller side and I didn't want things to get too cluttered. If I was working with a larger table, I probably would have scattered some ornaments or faux snow around the dishes.

I didn't include any labels on anything because A) our hot cocoa bar wasn't set up for a real party and B) I felt like it was easy to decipher what things were just by looking at them.

If you're setting up a hot cocoa bar for a real party, you may want to label things so your guests can help themselves to their own cup of cheer without having to find you first to ask questions about what something is!

Fun tip: display suggested recipe cards that describe your favorite hot cocoa concoctions! Print a few extras to send home with your guests so they can recreate them later :)

If you're having an adults only party, turn your hot cocoa bar into a real bar by offering some alcoholic mix-ins like:
  • Amaretto
  • Bailey's Irish Creme 
  • Grand Marnier
  • Peppermint Schnapps

Don't forget the whipped cream! :)

What would you include in your hot cocoa?

I'm sharing this project at Inspired By Charm's Colorful Christmas Party!

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  1. i love to put those mints in mine and let them melt- tastes so good! everything is perfect but i am wondering where either the bailey's or peppermint schnapps are.... let's get this party started! ;)

    1. Peppermint and chocolate anything is my weakness so that's definitely how I'd make my cocoa too! :)

  2. I agree with Cassie, melting the choco mints in mine is the best. But a little bailey's or rumchatta is also a good treat to mix in ;)

    1. Rumchatta? I've heard of it before but never had it. Is it like rum spiked horchata or something entirely different?

  3. I LOVE hot chocolate bars. Mmm mmm mmmmm! I have been drinking hot chocolate every morning! Noms.

    1. They're so fun and simple to set up! This may be hard to believe but I haven't had a single cup yet…does that discredit my bar? Let's hope not! ;)

  4. Love it! We set up a hot cocoa bar (well. I use the term very loosely. It's some mugs, a canister of cocoa mix, and a canister of marshmallows) to keep out for the winter, but I still have one empty canister....I might have to steal one of your ideas for it!

    1. I bet your boys love having everything out on display! :)

  5. This is awesome and it's total eye candy too!

  6. It's so pretty. I am of course immediately thinking how I can make this Paleo haha... coming up short on that one. I love how you set everything up here :) I am particularly fascinated with the candy canes. They are just so fabulous :)

  7. I love this. We actually had a hot cocoa bar at our wedding so it's a bit sentimental to me. But you also gave me some additional toppings ideas for my cookie exchange next week.

    1. Oooh, a hot cocoa bar at a wedding sounds amazing! I could think of topping ideas for days. I had a hard time narrowing my list down haha

  8. Caitlin, this looks AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL!!!! I want you to come over to my house and set up a Hot Coco Bar for me!!! YUMMY! Thank you so much for Linking up at our Christmas Extravaganza Party! I just pinned this :)

  9. Your house looks so amazing and bright! What a great job you've done.

  10. Super cute set up! I would definitely spring for the whipped cream. Throw a little peppermint on top just because it's Christmas. Why not, right? :)

  11. This looks SO good! I just might need to have the neighborhood kids over for some hot cocoa soon! Thanks for sharing!


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