Wanna learn how to create a simple hot cocoa station? One that’ll impress your guests and is super easy.
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a cup of hot chocolate when it starts to get cold, especially when I can add flavor and toppings to it.
Personally, I love orange-flavored hot chocolate with whipped cream and mini chocolate chips – YUM!
I wanted to create a simple hot chocolate bar for my family. One that was attractive, easy to use, and provided lots of options to customize their hot cocoa drinks.
I also wanted a diy hot cocoa station that looked great at any time. Not just around the holidays. So often I see hot chocolate bars that are red and white, and all about Christmas. But hot cocoa is perfect all winter long. (Where I live – that goes into April.)
So I opted for a forest green and brown hot chocolate station. It’s perfect for the Winter season, as it has a cozy, rustic, and outdoorsy feeling.
Plus it’s a diy hot cocoa station idea that you can easily recreate.
How to Create a Simple Hot Chocolate Station
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What do you need for a hot cocoa bar?
Before setting up your simple hot cocoa station, take an inventory of what you have and what you need.
First, you’re gonna want a vessel that’ll keep your hot chocolate hot. And (preferably) be attractive at the same time. Like a cute ceramic pot that has a lid.
If possible, find something that you can put your vessel on top of ~ to add height to your station. Or at least protect your surface from potential damage.
You’re also gonna want mugs and spoons (duh!). Unless this is a “to go” hot cocoa bar, don’t use paper cups.
Also, find a least one large platter and one raised plate. These will provide surfaces for your toppings and differing heights for your station.
Don’t forget small dessert plates for the cookies and munchies, along with tongs to pick them up.
Setting up an easy hot chocolate station
To create a simple hot cocoa station, start by laying down a foundation on your surface. Options are placemats, a table runner, or napkins.
This will provide softness and color for your station.
I started with two forest green napkins that I got from World Market. I put them diagonally on my buffet. They immediately elevated the look of my tabletop.
Next, I added the container for my hot cocoa. I used a metal stand (it’s actually for my beverage server) to elevate the pot.
The stand and hot cocoa container felt harsh and dark on the buffet, so I placed a folded napkin between the two. This created some softness and repeated the forest green color.
In front of (or next to) your hot cocoa container add something to rest your ladle. This will prevent your countertop and/or linens from getting damaged. I decided to use a cup that matched my pot. Not only does it look cute, but it’s useful too.
To the left of my hot chocolate pot, I added mugs and espresso cups with spoons inside.
You’re probably wondering why I put out espresso cups ~ if your guests are like me, I love to try different combinations of flavors. Making small cups of hot cocoa allows me to try different concoctions and not commit to a large cup of just one combination. That way I can go back and try different hot cocoa drinks. Fun!
To the left of the mugs, add flavored syrups and liquors (if you want adult-friendly hot cocoa).
I put them to the left, so the flavors can be added before the hot chocolate. Think of when you go to the coffee shop ~ they pump the flavor before adding the coffee.
Then to the right of your hot cocoa container, place a tray of cookies and toppings. Have fun arranging them.
Here are a few tips on how to arrange a hot chocolate bar toppings tray:
- Start by placing your larger items first. Probably cookies.
- Don’t put them next to each other, but in two or three grouped sections.
- Then add medium sized toppings in between the large items.
- Fill in spaces with smaller items, like mini marshmallows.
- Also, think about the colors of the toppings and try to mix them up, so not all of the same colored items are next to each other. This creates visual interest on your hot cocoa topping tray.
To the back right of your diy hot chocolate toppings tray, add a small cake stand. Place additional toppings that are in jars on the stand. The height of the cake plate will add visual interest to your hot cocoa station along with guiding your eye to those toppings. It’s also a way to group a set of toppings.
Don’t forget to add small appetizer spoons to your jars! I got mine at Target.
Then put a stack of dessert plates to the right of your tray. After all, your guests will need a place to put their cookies and candies.
What are the perfect toppings for your diy hot cocoa buffet?
Now ~ you can easily go overboard with toppings when you create a simple hot cocoa station, but you first need to make sure you have the basic toppings. Then you can go crazy.
You want a variety of toppings that will appeal to and excite your guests. That way they can have fun creating their own hot cocoa concoctions.
Here are a few options…
Main Hot Chocolate Toppings
- Marshmallows (duh!) ~ have a little fun and get large, small, and uniquely shaped ones
- Crushed peppermint
- Whipped cream
- Caramel sauce
Unique Toppings for Hot Cocoa
- Mini chocolate chips
- Toffee bits
- Sea salt
- Truffle chocolate balls
Hot Chocolate Syrup Flavors
Adult Your Hot Cocoa
- Peppermint Schnapps
- Grand Marinier
Enjoy your diy hot chocolate bar!
Have fun creating and setting up your simple diy hot cocoa station. Just remember that you don’t need to go crazy with tons of options. Oftentimes, simple is best. Less stress and still enjoyable!
After all, who doesn’t love a simple cup of hot chocolate!
Check out other table settings:
- Quick & Easy New Year’s Eve Buffet Table
- Simple DIY Winter Wonderland Tablescape
- Rustic Farmhouse Christmas Tablescape
- An Elevated Rustic Thanksgiving Tablescape
- French Farmhouse Friendsgiving Tablescape
- Simple Modern Thanksgiving Day Tablescape: On a Budget
- Cozy Fall Table Setting: Navy & Tan
- Coastal Grandmother Table Setting
- Setting a Pretty Table for Your Girlfriends: Pink & White