DIY a Hot Chocolate Bar for Your Holiday Party

A hot chocolate bar decorated with snowmen.
What You'll Need
Hot chocolate packets
Mugs or reusable cups
Pitcher of hot water or Keruig
Mini marshmallows
Peppermint bits
Spoons for serving
Whipped cream
Christmas Peeps (optional)
Pitcher of hot water or tea kettle
Chocolate and/or white chocolate chips for melting
Plastic spoons
Festive sprinkles and peppermint bits
Parchment paper (optional)
Candy canes
Chocolate chips for melting
Peppermint bits
Parchment paper

One of the best tastes of the holiday season is hot chocolate. Whether you like it simple or piled high with toppings, it's a delicious indulgence. For any family gathering, holiday party, or lazy day around the house, a DIY hot chocolate bar is fun and festive! You may be surprised to learn that setting up one of these is both easy and inexpensive, while allowing you to be creative.

Before setting up your hot chocolate bar, you’ll need to find a spot for it. You can put it on a kitchen counter, a small table, or any other piece of furniture that's convenient—I have a bar cart that I used for mine. Once you choose your location, set up the necessary items. You'll of course need mugs or cups. Besides regular ceramic mugs, paper or plastic cups are an option to reduce the need for clean-up from a large crowd and allow people to take some to go.

Next, you will obviously need hot chocolate packets. I have a few different kinds at my bar, including Swiss Miss and some special flavors I bought at World Market (peppermint, red velvet, and s’mores). I put these all in a decorative jar to keep them from floating around the bar. You will also need hot water. If you have a Keurig, move it to the bar for a party. Or, fill up a tea kettle with hot water and place that on the bar.

The next bunch of items I put out were toppings. I used little ramekins and containers for mini marshmallows, sprinkles, Peeps, and peppermint bits. Don’t forget to put spoons in the ramekins to make it easy for your guests to scoop toppings into their cups. For a party, you can even put out whipped cream.

A couple other items I included are DIYs. Both are meant to be “stirrers” for the hot chocolate. The first selection is chocolate spoons. You need very few supplies, and the steps to make them are as follows:

Chocolate Dipped Stirring Spoons

Step 1 - Melt chocolate chips in the microwave. Remove the chocolate from the microwave and stir every 30 seconds until it's smooth.

Step 2 - Lay out plastic spoons on a plate or parchment paper.

Step 3 - Drizzle melted chocolate on each spoon and move spoon back and forth until chocolate evens out.

Step 4 - Shower sprinkles or peppermint pieces on top of chocolate until satisfied.

Step 5 - Refrigerate spoons until chocolate hardens.

It’s as easy as that! The results are very cute and so yummy when mixed in with hot chocolate. I placed these in a cup on the bar so that they are standing upright. I was careful to put these out right before people began using the bar as I did not want the chocolate to melt before they were used.

Chocolate Dipped Candy Cane Stirrers

The next project I did to add to my hot chocolate bar was chocolate dipped candy cane stirrers. These are similar to the spoon stirrers, and also very simple to make. The following steps were used:

Step 1 - Melt chocolate chips in the microwave. Remove the chocolate from the microwave and stir every 30 seconds until it's smooth.

Step 2 - Prepare a bowl or mug to rest candy canes in once they have been dipped.

Step 3 - Dip candy canes in chocolate until the bottom half is fully coated. Spin over bowl of chocolate to let excess chocolate drip off.

Step 4 - Roll in peppermint bits.

Step 5 - Place curve side down in a bowl and put in refrigerator until chocolate hardens.

I enjoyed making these and think they're a nice touch to the bar. They are really yummy when dipped in hot chocolate—or even to eat on their own! Again, I put these out right before people started using the hot chocolate bar to prevent melting.

My favorite thing about a DIY hot chocolate bar is that you can take it any direction. These can be as simple or elaborate as you want, and they require few supplies. If you really want to take it over the top, other items to add are flavored syrups with pumps and shortbread cookies to be enjoyed on the side. This is guaranteed to be a hit with your guests as it will indulge their sweet tooths, keep them warm, and be fun for everyone.