The Anatomy of a Hot Chocolate Bar

Hot Chocolate Bar

While a hot chocolate bar is the perfect addition leading up to Christmas, I didn’t set one up until after the holiday. I love the red and white candies and mints, but I wanted to achieve a more cozy, winter setup to last until spring. Below, I will take you through the different ingredients and accessories that are versatile enough for the entire season.

  1. Snifter glass with picks and miniature spoons- you can use the picks for marshmallows or other accompaniments in your mug; the miniature spoons are perfect for cinnamon and other spices.

Hot Cocoa Bar

2. & 3. Creamer/Sugar Bowl with drink stirs: Before serving, these can be filled will flavors/cream/whipped cream. My serving pieces are from my fine china collection, Waterford Bassano.

Hot Chocolate Bar

4. Beverage napkins

5. Miniature jars to hold flavors and spices- I picked up these small jars from Michaels for about $1 a piece. The possibilities are endless with accompaniments and flavors to keep in these small jars.

Mini Spice Jars

6. Small paper candy/snack cups

Black and white paper cups on hot chocolate bar

7. Glass filled with straws and a long whipped cream spoon- I love the look of patterned, colorful paper straws in a hot cocoa bar, but to keep mine a little more dressed up and less “Christmas”, I used stainless steel straws.

Stainless Steel Straws

8. Marshmallows- while whipped cream may not be suitable to leave out unless you are hosting, you can load up on the marshmallows! I suggest miniature marshmallows, but in using what we already had, the jumbo variety worked just fine. Like many things, they are displayed well in a clear jar, such as this pictured apothecary jar.


9. Marshmallow scoop- I love small scoops and spoons and enjoy any opportunity to use them.

Scoop on Hot Cocoa Tray

Also at Michaels on clearance was this little dish which I couldn’t pass up for $2. I wasn’t sure where it would end up (in my closet?) but found it the perfect rest for my scoop.

Hot Chocolate Scoop and Tray

10. Candies- I used caramel and chocolate candies I already had on hand and kept the scheme to monochromatic gold foils. The little “dishes” are actually a salt and pepper set from Restoration Hardware. The small spoons are used in (1) for the various spices and flavors. You can find the porcelain salt and pepper set HERE.

Gold Candies on Hot Chocolate Bar

11. Mugs- These are the same copper mugs I used in my Copper Tablescape post- if you missed it, you can see them used HERE.

Copper Mugs for Hot Chocolate Bar

A hot chocolate bar is easy to accomplish. Once you have your tray/table/serving area selected, start pulling out small jars, glasses, and accessories from your kitchen.

Hot Chocolate Bar

Because I like to keep my kitchen counters clear, I opted to set my station up in the dining room; kind of like a beverage cart or after dinner coffee bar. The dining room connects to the kitchen so I leave the hot cocoa hidden away in the cupboard. Depending on your setup and how you make your hot chocolate, you can leave yours separate also, or incorporate it into your station. There are no rules, but try using different shapes and sizes. Use clear glass jars instead of the original packaging. I would love to hear about your hot chocolate/coffee bar necessities!

Hot Cocoa Bar

Hot Chocolate Bar

Other Sources:

  • 3-tier tray: Hobby Lobby (while this tray isn’t available online, I love this copper 3-tiered tray HERE or a set of these stacked cake stands HERE).
  • Gold Tray Table
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  1. 12.29.15
    Sharon said:

    I love what you did here Kelley! Perfectly styled for any occasion. Love the snifter glass with miniature spoons. Would love to add that to my little bar.

    • 12.29.15

      Shar, thank you for visiting with me! You have had your delicious bar set up through the whole season and I am envious! xo

  2. 12.29.15
    Luxmy said:

    Love this Kelley! Beautiful!!

    • 12.29.15

      Luxmy, thank you so much! Wishing you a wonderful and happy new year!!

  3. 12.29.15
    Lori Taylor said:

    I LOVE this!! Your decor is amazing!! I do not see that the link works for the copper 3-tiered tray or the stacked cake stands. Could you please try that again? Thank you. 🙂

    • 12.29.15

      Lori, thank you so much and thank you for letting me know! I have been having some trouble with links; they should be live now. Have a wonderful evening!

  4. 12.30.15
    Joni King said:

    This is great!!! I’m ready for some hot chocolate!

    • 12.30.15

      Joni, thank you for stopping by! Come on down and we can alternate between hot chocolate and wine, our favorite 😉

  5. 12.30.15
    Keila said:

    This is so beautiful Kelly! I love the marshmallows in the apothercary Jar!

    • 12.31.15

      K, thank you! I love your New Year’s Eve bar cart! 😉

  6. 12.30.15
    Patricia Arruda said:

    Kelley, everything you do is perfect!! You’re such an inspiration!

    • 12.31.15

      P! You inspire me so much every day. Thank you, my friend!

  7. 1.2.16

    This is all just so cute! It’s like an American high tea!! I love the little spoons!

    • 1.2.16

      Aw, I love that! Thank you- we are so enjoying it, only a few days into the season 🙂

  8. 1.2.16
    Bree said:

    This is stunning, Kelley!! You always blow us away with your amazing talent!!

    • 1.2.16

      Bree, thank you! You always blow me away. Can’t wait for exciting things from you in 2016! xo