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dessert bar hot chocolate

This time of year, there are so many parties, that it can get a little bit dizzying to think of something fun and unique to do when having friends over.  I wanted to show you guys an easy idea that could probably be done with stuff you already have at home, but putting it all together in a cute way is something that visitors will definitely remember you for.

The hot chocolate bar cart is completely simple and fun.  If you’ve served a large dinner, having a warm drink afterwards is a nice change from a heavy dessert, and if you’re offering snacks and apps, a hot chocolate bar makes a wonderful complement to your desserts.

christmas hot chocolate how to make a hot chocolate bar

I went with a ‘retro cabin’ type look since my Christmas decor scheme is ‘cozy cabin’.  Arrange it on a fun and festive cart like this one (which is for rent!!) or a console table in your living room.  I like the idea of locating the desserts and after dinner drinks in the living area so people will gravitate there and sit, sip, and socialize for the rest of the night.  There are a few must-haves on my list for styling yourself the perfect hot chocolate bar.

hot chocolate bar cart hot chocolate christmas dessert cart


Things to have on your cart:

  • Hot Chocolate – I pre-measured scoops into the mugs so there wasn’t mess.  If you have individual servings like these fun treasures from Ticket Chocolate, that would be even more amazing.
  • Mugs – break out some fun ones or make some fun custom mugs with a sharpie.
  • Peppermint Stirrers – I just cut the curved portion off some candy canes.
  • Marshmallows – for fun shapes it’s REALLY easy to make your own.  Check out my friend, Jacquelyn’s, instructions on using whipped topping to make fun shapes.
  • A Thermal Carafe – keeps water or milk nice and warm
  • Extras – Liqueurs (I used Bailey’s and Kahlua), flavored marshmallows, flavored whipped creams, chocolate shavings, the sky is really the limit here.

As I said earlier, a fun cart really helps bring this all together.  I was fortunate enough to meet Valerie at my West Elm event last month who introduced me to her vintage rentals company where I spied this gem.  If you haven’t thought about renting pieces in your town, do a quick search on bing!  I’m sure you’ll find some amazing pieces for a fraction of the price it would cost to buy a piece.

hot chocolate dessert bar

All of this just looks like so much fun, doesn’t it? What’s more is that both children and adults will love you for it.  At my friends giving a few weeks ago, my friends (who I didn’t really think would be into it) devoured the hot chocolate. Devoured it.

So, do something your friends and family will devour and take a few tips from above.  Similar colors, themes, and accessories will make the whole thing come together beautifully!

What would you include on your ‘Hot Chocolate’ bar cart?


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Latest comments
  • I like this “cart” idea to go where the party is, I think I’m going to look for one in the new year too! Enjoy the holidays! x

  • So lovely!
    We did a hot chocolate bar party for my women’s group at church this year (I’m the events coordinator for all the women’s stuff!). We used crockpots to keep our chocolate warm and had 2 regular recipes of the cocoa and then I made a Mexican hot chocolate that was spicy and warm and just amazing! We also had peppermint marshmallows that were super easy to make and were beautiful for the table!

  • That’s a super nice idea! I love it and might be trying it for the Christmas brunch with my family.
    What I would suggest is to give the possibility to customise one’s chocolate even more by making “chocolate spoons” with different flavours that one can dip into the hot milk. Just take wooden spoons (or regular ones, but you can decorate wooden spoons beforehands so that’s nice) and fill the hollow part with melted chocolate : white, black, orange flavoured, or with caramel etc. You can sprinkle them with nuts, or candied/dried fruits, spices (think cinnamon, vanilla powder, ginger etc) for extra flavour, chocolate chips for a mixed falvour, or why not peanut butter chips, caramel pieces or any other crushed candy, the possibilities are endless! Plus they would make a nice gift I think.
    If you have a fire, why not make some s’mores too, and then add a “s’mores bar” to your cart. As for alcohol, I really recommend Chartreuse. It pairs well with hot chocolate (don’t pour too much though!). I am not a big fan of Chartreuse by itself, bur in hot chocolate it tastes awesome! It is aslo great in chocolate truffles!
    Have a great day!

  • I am in love with this idea. I am borderline addicted to hot chocolate, and this cute cart is just so fun!

  • I am in love with this idea! It’s so festive and charming, as well as delicious. I agree with Nina that adding s’mores would be amazing as well. I love the idea to add all of the toppings, the liqeurs, the peppermint stirrers-it’s all just so good!

  • What a lovely display Erin, and the pictures turned out so beautiful. Thank you for incorporating my cart into your plans.

    Take Care!

  • What font did you use for the “hot chocolate bar” phrase? it’s gorgeous

  • Hi there! Stopping by to say congratulations on being featured on Midwest Living, favorite holiday blogger projects! Have a great week!

  • Absolutely adorable!!! love the idea and the green cart! :-)))

  • I love this, definitely ready for some hot chocolate and I need that cart!