Casual and fun – DIY the perfect family hot chocolate bar this winter

Now that it’s sweater-weather, nothing says cosy like a steaming mug of hot chocolate. In this post show Now that it’s sweater-weather, nothing says cosy…

Now that it’s sweater-weather, nothing says cosy like a steaming mug of hot chocolate.

But if you want to really impress your family, try this no-fuss hot chocolate bar. Super easy to put together, just fill a tray with all your favourite hot chocolate toppings.

Next, add some whipped cream, sprinkles, cinnamon or chocolate sauce. And then enjoy the perfect night in with kids of all ages.

Tip: Hot chocolate bars are fun for all kinds of parties! Try it at your next get-together, teen sleepover, or even MOVIE NIGHT.

My tween and teenage boys love a hot chocolate bar. It’s a great excuse for making this hot chocolate recipe. It’s so simple, they can even do it in the microwave.

Tween boy holding Kawaii mug with hot chocolate at DIY hot chocolate bar set up

And this hot chocolate bar is so easy, you can get your kids to help create it, or surprise them with it as an after-school winter treat.

Here’s how to make your own no-fuss family hot chocolate bar for kids, teens and tweens in very easy steps.

The tray for a DIY hot chocolate bar

You’re going to need something to corral all the yummy bits and pieces together. Use any kind of wooden tray, platter or charcuterie board (if you’re feeling fancy). If you’re really stuck, just lay it all on top of a large chopping board or any clean surface.

The dishes you’ll need 

Next, put out a selection of small dishes (I love these cheap and cheerful ramekins from Amazon).

You are going to need several bowls, and they can be of all different sizes. Mini ones are great for chocolate chips, and medium ones are better for larger items like marshmallows. Clean jars work great too.

Grab some spoons and napkins, too, as it might get a little messy!

Collect your mugs for the hot chocolate bar

Of course, you will need mugs, but they don’t have to be fancy, or even match! Enamel, ceramic or glass mugs are usually best.

For now, don’t worry about the hot chocolate. Just get everyone’s favourite mugs lined up on the side. (Our cute Kawaii-style kids’ mugs are linked here.)

Kawaii style mugs of hot chocolate and a tray of biscuits and syrups

The basics of making hot chocolate for a few people or for a crowd

When you design a hot chocolate bar at home for a few family members, you can make a batch of hot chocolate with a pot on your stove. Or just warm-up the individual mugs in your microwave.

The basic idea is to heat the milk (or plant-based milk) and then add either powdered hot chocolate (we like Green & Blacks organic) or chopped milk chocolate pieces. Stir them together constantly on low heat until it’s all melted. Check out my post on easy hot chocolate, even kids can make.

If you’re doing it in the microwave, err on the side of caution. Heat a mug for about a minute, stir, then add another 30 seconds at a time until it’s mixed. My children don’t like their milk overly hot, so just do this to your family’s taste.

If you need more than a few servings of hot chocolate, you might need to make a bigger batch. Try this recipe for hot chocolate in your slow cooker.

Up-level your hot chocolate bar!

Fancy luxury hot chocolate with a twist? Try adding a tablespoon of flavoured coffee syrup to your hot chocolate (this Monin syrup selection pack is amazing). You can usually find syrups in the coffee aisle of your supermarket or try Amazon. Some flavours you might experiment with are:

  • Caramel
  • Hazelnut
  • Crème Brulee
  • Black Forest
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Gingerbread

Boozy hot chocolate ideas

Here’s another idea: if you’re making a hot chocolate bar for adults, you might consider a boozy alternative with a splash of one of these:

  • Baileys Irish Cream
  • Baileys Red Velvet Cupcake
  • Kahlua
  • Amaretto
  • Chocolate liqueur (such as Godiva)
  • Spiced rum
  • Peppermint Schnapps

Hero ingredients of a hot chocolate bar

Now comes the fun part! Here’s a list of delicious hot chocolate bar topping ideas. Make sure you have at least a few of everyone’s favourites.

  • Marshmallows (mini or jumbo)
  • Whipped cream
  • Milk chocolate chips
  • White chocolate chips
  • Peanut butter chips
  • Hundreds and thousands (sprinkles)
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon
  • Pumpkin spice
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Crushed Oreos
  • Grated mint Aeros
  • Whoppers/Malteasers
  • Lindt chocolate truffles

PRO TIP: Stir a lindt chocolate truffle ball into a mug of hot chocolate until it melts for the ultimate chocolate luxury drink

  • Crushed hard candy/boiled sweets (try peppermint, butterscotch, toffee etc)
  • Candy canes/Peppermint sticks
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Caramel sauce
  • Maple syrup

Tray of hot chocolate toppings ideas inc marshmallows and Anchor squirty cream

Enjoy your hot chocolate bar at home with loved ones

And finally, the best part of your hot chocolate bar – putting it all together and drinking it! Whether you enjoy this with your children or with your friends and family, one thing’s for sure. You’re guaranteed a chocolate moustache or two! Make sure to have some napkins at hand for any spills, too.

You might like to enjoy your hot chocolate bar with a great family film. Check out this list of 60 best family films.

DIY a Family and Friends Hot Chocolate Bar

Carrie-Anne Hall
Nothing could be cosier than sharing a hot chocolate bar with a gathering of friends and family in winter. Follow these easy steps for a super stylish warming treat everyone can enjoy together.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American, British

Ingredients
  

Hot chocolate bar toppings. Choose your favourites from a selection

  • ½ cup marshmallows - mini or jumbo
  • 250 g can of squirty cream - we like Anchor Light)
  • 100 g bag of milk chocolate chips
  • 100 g bag of white chocolate chips
  • 100 g bag of peanut butter chips
  • 80 g 'hundreds and thousands' sprinkles shaker
  • 80 g chocolate sprinkles shaker
  • 80 g ground cinnamon shaker or several cinnamon sticks
  • 80 g pumpkin spice shaker
  • 100 g crushed Oreos
  • 50 g mint Aeros (grated)
  • 100 g bag of Maltesers
  • 80 g pot of course sea salt
  • 100 g Jude's salted caramel sauce
  • 8 individual Lindt chocolate truffles

Biscuits of your choice. Here are our favourites

  • 16 individual mini chocolate chip cookies
  • 16 individual mini 'Scotty dog' shortbread biscuits
  • 75 g Mikado chocolate biscuits

Your favourite hot chocolate mix and milk or plant-based substitute. Here's what we used

  • 300 g Green & Blacks organic hot chocolate (or 4 tsp per person)
  • 2 L milk. This is enough for 8 cups of hot chocolate (ie for each cup of hot chocolate you'll need 250ml of milk)

Instructions
 

  • Prepare your tray. Take little bowls of different sizes and fill them with some of your favourite hot chocolate toppings. Arrange these in the middle of your tray.
    ½ cup marshmallows - mini or jumbo, 100 g bag of milk chocolate chips, 100 g bag of white chocolate chips, 100 g bag of peanut butter chips, 100 g crushed Oreos, 50 g mint Aeros (grated), 100 g bag of Maltesers, 8 individual Lindt chocolate truffles
  • Put your biscuits or any odd-shaped items between your bowls or on the outer edge of your tray. You may want to put taller items at the back.
    16 individual mini chocolate chip cookies, 16 individual mini 'Scotty dog' shortbread biscuits, 75 g Mikado chocolate biscuits
  • Add sauces, whip cream and sprinkle/salt shakers towards the back and edges, if you desire
    250 g can of squirty cream - we like Anchor Light), 80 g 'hundreds and thousands' sprinkles shaker, 80 g chocolate sprinkles shaker, 80 g ground cinnamon shaker or several cinnamon sticks, 80 g pumpkin spice shaker, 100 g Jude's salted caramel sauce, 80 g pot of course sea salt
  • Put napkins and spoons in easy reach of your guests
  • Choose a selection of mugs for everyone
  • Prepare the hot chocolate shortly before your are ready to serve, and when everything else is set up. You can use a slow cooker or flasks to keep it warm if you need to make it ahead of time.
    300 g Green & Blacks organic hot chocolate (or 4 tsp per person), 2 L milk. This is enough for 8 cups of hot chocolate (ie for each cup of hot chocolate you'll need 250ml of milk)
  • Put the hot chocolate in the mugs and let everyone enjoy putting on their own favourite toppings.
Keyword bar, Christmas party, dessert tray, frozen hot chocolate, hot chocolate bar, hot chocolate party, hot cocoa, kid snack, party food, winter food, winter party

PIN for later on Pinterest

Pinterest DIY Family hot chocolate bar with marshmallows and chocolate chips

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Hey Friend!

Life's too short for boring.

Subscribe for the coolest family lifestyle tips straight to your inbox, once a week

  • • Boredom buster activities  
  • • Fun snack recipes
  • • The best party ideas
  • • Film reviews and games to try
  • • FREE GIFT! Get your free family fun pack with printable packing lists, scavenger hunts and an essential summer planner for kids