Christmas - Entertaining - Holiday Season Recipes - Holidays/Seasonal - Winter Recipes and Entertaining

Hot Cocoa Bar Party (and Free Printable!)

December 11, 2018 (Last updated February 16, 2023) · Nicole Triebe

Winter blues got you down? Warm up with a Hot Cocoa Bar, a great addition to any winter party!

hot cocoa bar toppings

I’m preparing for a long cold winter here in Chicago.  We’ve already had a blizzard here, and I plan on hibernating until I see the green grass again.  So until May, it’s hot chocolate by the fire and all the Christmas cookies.  Who’s with me?!?

For those who want to join, I’m partnering with Solo to create the ultimate Hot Cocoa Bar, perfect for any winter party you throw while the snow is on the ground!

You starting out with your favorite hot cocoa mix.  If you’re feeling ambitious, you can create your own so easily!

Here’s a simple recipe homemade hot cocoa mix: 

  1. 2 cups powdered sugar
  2. 1 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
  3. 2 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
  4. 1 teaspoon fine-grain salt
  5. 2 teaspoons cornstarch
    Combine the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk powder, salt, cornstarch and cayenne in a large airtight container. Secure the lid and shake vigorously to combine.

Now for the fun part: the TOPPINGS!

hot cocoa bar toppings displayed

What should I put in my hot cocoa bar?

Now here’s where you can get a little crazy with your sweet tooth.

Start with the basics.  I like to use Solo’s 9 oz clear plastic cups to display all the gorgeous toppings.  I started with white chocolate chips, then added bittersweet chocolate chunks.  Next was an absolute must: all the marshmallows! I put my mini marshmallows in a solo cup, then I offered giant snow flake marshmallows for an extra festive touch.

‘Tis the season for all things candy cane and peppermint, so I loved adding these mini candy canes to this Hot Cocoa Bar.  Finish off with some whipped cream, and festive sprinkles to top it all off!

hot cocoa bar sprinkles

I found these adorable gingerbread man straws from Etsy and couldn’t resist putting them on the spread as well.  They were a perfect touch to the bar.

gingerbread man straws at hot cocoa bar

For those who are a little hungry after Christmas caroling, cookies on the hot cocoa bar are a necessity!

I added some gingerbread men, my double chocolate peppermint kiss cookies, and some pirouette cookies (which double as a delicious stir stick, too!)

hot cocoa bar spread

Both the beverage dispenser and galvanized tray are from Target’s Hearth & Hand line.

Don’t forget to put small spoons at each cup so that your guests can scoop out the toppings as they need them.  Finally, I added some twinkle lights for a magical touch.

someone topping their hot cocoa at the hot cocoa bar

So fill up your Solo cup (these 12 oz hot beverage cups are perfect and come with lids so you can take them to go!) and grab a cookie for a warm winter treat!

adding candy cane to hot cocoa

Want to recreate your own Hot Cocoa Bar? This cute sign is a perfect addition!  Free printable is below!

hot cocoa bar printable

Want to pin this for later? Click on the image below!

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  • Reply Amanda Wren-Grimwood December 12, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    What a lovely idea! I think kids and adults would love this and it would be perfect after a Christmas stroll to get everyone warm again.

  • Reply kim December 12, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    This is so cute and I love all of your ideas! The printable is awesome too! My kids will love this for the holidays!

  • Reply Lisa | Garlic & Zest December 12, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    This is such a fun idea for a winter get together. Love those gingerbread straws, too. I might do two separate stations — one for the kids and one for the adults (with some spiked options).

  • Reply Claudia Lamascolo December 12, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    what a fun idea and I love hot cocoa wish I could be at the party… my kind of treats!

  • Reply Michelle December 12, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    I’m with you! This sounds like a great idea, perfect for a family and friends get together over the holidays. I think everyone including the “grown-ups” will love this x

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