Hot Cocoa Station
Tis the season for hot cocoa! Warm up and embrace the Christmas season by creating a customizable hot cocoa station in your home with a decadent slow cooker hot cocoa recipe.
What are the holidays without a cup of rich, decadent hot cocoa?! It’s a beverage synonymous with Christmas, and perfect for those cold snowy days of winter. One sip, warms the soul and makes you feel instantly cozy inside.
As much as I love a cup of hot cocoa, it may be the hot cocoa toppings that are the best part of this winter drink.
So, I thought I would share with you how to create a hot cocoa station that includes not just the delicious hot cocoa, but all the toppings too! It’s a fun way to serve hot cocoa for family movie night, a Christmas party, children’s birthday party, or even an adult holiday gathering. I promise you, adults will love this just as much as the kids!
Christmas Entertaining Blog Hop
Welcome to the first Fabulous Friday Link Party Blog Hop!
The Fabulous Friday Link Party is a place for bloggers to link their best posts every Friday and potentially get featured the following week. The Link Party has now extended its presence to some bloggers who link up regularly. Today the 6 hosts and 6 talented bloggers are launching their 1st Fabulous Friday Blog Hop. Follow along to see all of the amazing Christmas entertaining inspiration.
All the links to the hosts and their featured blogger friends are at the end of the blog.
How to Set Up a Hot Cocoa Station
The Hot Cocoa Station Base
I began creating our hot cocoa station, by starting with a base. I placed a plaid red & white table runner down on the counter, and then placed an old vintage wooden sled on top of that. The sled helped to add height to our station, and added cute Christmas nostalgia to the hot cocoa station as well!
Pro Tip: After bringing the sled out of storage, I did make sure to clean the wooden sled with hot soapy water a couple of times, since food was being placed on and around it.
Cups for Drinking Hot Cocoa
For your hot cocoa station, you can choose to use disposable hot paper cups, regular coffee mugs, or maybe a combination of both. I have disposable hot paper cups next to our hot cocoa but I also have coffee mugs on the shelf above it.
Disposable paper cups are convenient because guests can easily throw them away when done, and most importantly…you won’t have to wash a bunch of dishes after the party. There are really cute disposable Christmas hot paper cups available. I found our disposable hot cocoa cups at the Target dollar spot for only $3.
These disposable hot paper cups would be a cute addition to a hot cocoa station as well.
- Whimsical Hot Chocolate Paper Cups
- Santa Claus Christmas Paper Cups
- Assorted Christmas Paper Cups
- Frosted Gingerbread Cup With Handle
The Hot Cocoa
The most important part of a hot cocoa station, the hot cocoa!
Now, you could have instant hot cocoa at your station with hot water available to guests to make their own, instant hot chocolate. However, I have the easiest and most delicious hot cocoa recipe that literally takes minutes to mix together, cooks for a few hours in the crock pot, and tastes absolutely incredible.
You and your guests will love this decadent hot cocoa recipe. Recipe included at the end of this blog post!
I placed our crockpot full of hot cocoa on one side of the sled, next to the cups for serving. Guests can easily fill their cups with a soup ladle placed in the hot chocolate filled crockpot.
Hot Cocoa Toppings
The most fun part of any hot cocoa station is the toppings! The hot cocoa toppings you serve are completely customizable to what you and your guests love to add on top of the hot cocoa.
Topping Ideas for Hot Cocoa Station
- Peppermint Sticks
- Whipped Cream
- Peanut Butter Cups
- Chocolate Wafers
- Mint Bits
- Toffee Bits
- Chocolate Chips
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Course Sea Salt
- Caramel Sauce
- Chocolate Sauce
Supplies Needed for Displaying Hot Cocoa Toppings
- French Canning Jars (assorted sizes)
- Red & White Baker’s Twine
- Hot Cocoa Topping Printable Tags
- Small Scooping Spoons (I had these on hand, so we used these small spoons too.)
How to Display Hot Cocoa Toppings
Tie red & white baker’s twine around the top of each jar. I circled the twine around each jar about 4 times, to ensure a full red & white affect. Pull the twine taut and tie a knot. Make sure to leave long ends to be able to tie a tag to the jar.
Download and print your free hot cocoa topping tags here!
Cut out printable tags, and then punch a hole in each tag to thread twine through. Place a tag on each jar, tying a bow around the tag with the twine for a whimsical touch. Trim twine ends for a finished look.
Add toppings to corresponding jars.
Pro Tip: Use the tall canning jars for taller toppings, and the shorter jars for smaller topping pieces.
Arrange the topping filled jars on and around the sled, keeping shorter jars at closer reach for little hands.
Add scoops or spoons to the jars for scooping or place them off to the side for people to easily grab and scoop toppings.
You can even add some fun holiday Christmas lights to your station for an even more fun and whimsical touch! The little Christmas tree lights added such a festive glow, and I loved the little pop of green they provided! Here’s a similar strand of lights you could use at your hot chocolate station.
Hot Cocoa Station Sign or Banner
A hot cocoa station is not complete without a sign or banner!
I found this adorable “Cocoa” banner at Target which I hung from peg hooks above our hot cocoa station.
Here are some other super cute banners that would be the perfect addition to your hot cocoa station.
More Christmas Inspiration
For more Christmas & holiday ideas and inspiration from me, click here!
There is even more Christmas inspiration at the end of this post from my blogging friends. Be sure to check out their amazing Christmas entertaining ideas!
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Slow Cooker Hot Cocoa
- 1 Slow Cooker
- 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder unsweetened
- 8 oz. Dark Chocolate
- 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 6 cups 1% Milk
- 2 cups Heavy Cream
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together milk, heavy cream, cocoa powder, sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
- Carefully pour mixture into slow cooker.
- Add the dark chocolate to slow cooker.
- Cook hot cocoa on low for 4 hours, stirring every hour to ensure chocolate melts evenly and does not stick to the bottom.
- Pour hot cocoa into cups and top with your favorite hot cocoa topping.
Thank you so much!
Your Hot Cocoa Station is simply adorable! I love it! Thank you for sharing it! It was so much fun hopping with you!
Thank you Kim! Yes this recipe is definitely a step above instant hot cocoa!!!
I love all of your ideas for a hot cocoa station! Thanks for sharing the crock pot hot cocoa recipe! That will be a wonderful improvement over our usual Swiss Miss!! It’s been fun hopping with you!
Your grandchildren will love it Wendy! My family had such a great time adding all the different toppings to their hot cocoa!
Thank you Missy! It was so fun hopping with you!!!
Thank you Renae, my family loved it!
It was so fun, thank you for having me Lynn!
Thank you Rachel! Those labels are so cute!!!
This is a fantastic post! I cannot wait to try your hot cocoa recipe and put out some toppings for all of my grandchildren. Thank you fo rsharing.
So many great ideas for a cocoa station! I especially love your list of toppings…quite a few that I had not thought of but will definitely include! It has been a delight to read your post and be introduced to you and your blog. This was definitely a fun blog hop! ~Missy Noonan, Sonata Home Design
I love this so much. Great idea.
Hi Heidi – You’ve inspired me to set-up a Hot Cocoa Bar! Love all of the ideas for things you can stock the bar with. Thanks so much for being a part of our very first Fabulous Friday Blog Hop!
Your idea is just so charming. I’ve pinned and saved the printable labels.
Thank you Michele! I had the best time joining you ladies, thank you for having me!
I love this hot cocoa bar Heidi! So beautiful and creative and I can’t wait to try your crock pot hot cocoa recipe. Thanks so much for joining us for the first Fabulous Friday Blog Hop!
Thank you Donna, I appreciate your kind words! Happy holidays and thank you for including in the first ever link party blog hop. It was so much fun!!!
Such a fun and festive way to serve your guests hot cocoa! I love all the special touches you added from the sled, to the adorable printable tags, and all the yummy toppings! It fits perfectly on that part of your counter tucked underneath your beautifully decorated shelf! Here’s to a happy and blessed holliday season for all!
Thank you for having me, this was fun! A hot cocoa station is so festive for the holidays!!!
Just what I needed!!!! A good, rich hot cocoa crock pot recipe. And all the fun topping suggestions are great too! Can’t wait to set up a cocoa bar for our neighborhood holiday party. Thanks so much for joining us on this inaugural Fab Friday Seasonal Blog Hop. It’s always great having you link up at the link Party too.
Thank you Tanya! It’s such a fun thing to do for the holidays!
Thank you Coco! This is by far the best hot chocolate I have ever had, your family will love it! Happy holidays!!!
Your hot cocoa station is so cute! I love all the mix-ins you’ve added and the thank you for the printables too. It will definitely help to make setting up one at our house super easy this year. I’ve never made crock pot hot chocolate before so I’m excited to try your recipe. Hope you and your family have a happy holiday season, CoCo
I love your hot cocoa station, my family would love this, thank you for the inspiration and printables:)