Ashley's Pastry Shop in Dayton, OH

Brrr! There’s no doubt we are in the middle of a frigid month. We’ve had snow and ice and cold, cold days, which makes it a perfect time to warm with up a cup of hot chocolate. This warm, tasty drink is perfect to enjoy after any amount of time spent outdoors. It’s a great way to warm up if you’re curled up with a good book. Hot chocolate is always just a yummy treat to enjoy during the winter.

If you’re hosting a baby or bridal shower, a book club meeting or even having friends or family over for dinner this winter, consider offering guests a hot chocolate bar. This makes a fun alternative to coffee and works well for adults and kids alike. You can make it as simple or elaborate as you like. 

hot chocolate bar

If you’ve never seen one or set one up, don’t worry. We’re here to help! Below is a supply list and some photo inspiration to help get you started.

Here’s the supply list of what you’ll need:

  • Hot chocolate
    • You can offer a variety of flavors: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, mint
  • Warm mugs
  • Toppings
    • This is where you can really be creative! Think marshmallows, mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, crushed peppermint, and of course, whipped cream!
  • Chocolate stirrers and spoons
    • These are a really fun addition, and you can pick them up here at Ashley’s. They are spoons or stir sticks dipped in chocolate. Guests can use to stir their hot chocolate and add extra flavor. You won’t want to forget these on your bar!
  • Sweet treats
    • What goes better with hot chocolate than a delicious cookie or gooey brownie? Make sure you offer up a variety of treats — and let us help! We can easily put together an assortment for you so all you have to do is pop the cookies, cupcakes and brownies on pretty plates!
  • Fun containers
    • If you have entertaining pieces, this is the time to bring them out! Use those pretty cake stands for cookies, put your toppings in cute matching bowls or fun colored ramekins and use cylinders to store spoons or straws.
  • Little extras
    • To elevate your hot chocolate bar, don’t forget the little extras! Use a pretty table cloth or decorative runner as the backdrop. Put out paper straws in coordinating colors of your theme. Add a few decorative items, like a snowman or some winter greenery, and you’re all set!

Set up your space

Once you have all of your supplies, the fun part of setting up your bar begins! You can use a table, countertop, buffet — whatever space you have will work! We recommend using a variety of heights and containers to help give the bar a fun look. Here’s a few ideas for inspiration:

hot chocolate bar

To give the bar some variation, place treats like piroulines and straws and stirrers in taller containers for height. You can also play around with different trays to display your treats. We like to use cake stands and pretty platters to display cookies, cupcakes and brownies.

hot chocolate bar toppings

Line up your mugs and put your toppings in fun containers with labels so your guests know what their options are. You can easily print your own at home or  find cute little chalkboard signs at a craft store like Michael’s or on Amazon.

hot chocolate bar 2

Whatever route you choose to go – simple and sweet or more elaborate – have fun! Make sure to add treats from Ashley’s Pastries, and we promise this will help cure those winter blues.