Holiday Hot Chocolate Bar Cart

‘Tis the season for hot chocolate!

Lemonade stations are great in the summer, but winter gatherings call for drinks that will warm you up. This holiday season, treat family and friends to a gourmet hot chocolate bar.

I’m sharing all the details on how to create your own holiday hot chocolate bar for your holiday parties or family nights with ideas, decorations and more!

Steps For Making a Hot Chocolate Bar

Sharing all the details below for creating the most charming and gourmet hot chocolate bar.

Bar Cart

First, you’ll need a good area to stage your hot chocolate bar. Bar carts are a great way to display all the items for the hot chocolate bar, but if you don’t have one, you can set up a small table with a tablecloth and some holiday decorations as well.

What Do You Put on A Hot Chocolate Bar?

Fill the bar with toppings, supplies, some large pitchers or carafes and of course hot chocolate! Everything you’ll need is listed below:

A list of supplies you’ll need:

  • Bar Cart 
  • Carafes 
  • Mugs  
  • White Cake Stand 
  • Napkins 
  • Gourmet Hot Chocolate
  • Snack Bowls
  • Sleigh Dish
  • Spoons for stirring
  • Glass Hurricane Holder
  • Spill mat
  • Bottle Brushes
  • Lighted Christmas Village
  • Mini Photo Frames
  • Faux Snow

What Do You Put on Hot Chocolate?

The ideas for toppings are endless! Marshmallows are a must! I’ve listed some others below. As a rule of thumb, I like to have four to six toppings for our guests to choose from.

Hot Chocolate Bar Toppings:

  • Different types of Marshmallows
  • Whipped cream
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Crushed Peppermint
  • Peppermint Sticks
  • Gingerbread Cookies
  • Hot Chocolate Stir Sticks
  • Candied Ginger
  • Toffee Bits
  • White Chocolate Shavings
  • Bailey’s, Kahlua and/or Bourbon
  • Syrups like caramel or chocolate.

How Do You Keep Hot Chocolate Warm?

It’s important to serve hot chocolate warm so use a stainless steel carafe that will keep your hot chocolate warm on the bar. Add some labels so guests know what’s in each carafe.

At What Temperature Should Hot Chocolate Be Served?

Hot drinks are usually served around 140 degrees to 160 degrees. You can use a thermometer to test the temperature before adding the hot chocolate to carafes.

Gourmet Hot Chocolate

You don’t have to make homemade hot chocolate. There are plenty of places to buy gourmet hot cocoa. All of our delicious cocoa for this bar was from Williams Sonoma.

World Market is also a great place to pick up some unique hot chocolate mixes.


To make the hot chocolate bar even more enticing and beautiful, add some pretty holiday decor!

Bottle brush Trees are a great way to fill in empty space. 

Faux snow on the bottom of the bar cart works too.

Hot Chocolate Bar Setup Ideas

Include some carafes with hot chocolate with labels, mugs, napkins and spoons for stirring.

Make sure to have plenty marshmallows and some other toppings.   

Hot Chocolate stir sticks are a great addition. Make sure to have hot water or milk available. Display them unwrapped on a cake stand or platter. 

Charming details like these gingerbread house mug toppers are what make a setup special. Buy things that people wouldn’t always splurge on to make it a sweet experience for guests.

Spiked Hot Chocolate

If you’re serving syrups, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahlúa or Bourbon, pour them into some small glass bottles (I love these ones) so your guests can serve themselves. 

We hope you’re inspired to host your own holiday hot chocolate bar!! 

Please share your set-ups with us on on social! Also, leave a comment and let us know how yours turned out!


This post contains affiliate links. I may make a small commission if you purchase.


December 14, 2021


Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Follow me on Instagram