Tips to Throw an EPIC Hot Chocolate Bar Party

This hot chocolate bar party is the perfect winter party idea! Complete with FREE chalkboard labels, recipe cards, and lots of DIY hot chocolate bar ideas.

When my husband and I got married we spent the first few months living with my great aunt. That sweet soul was the best little lady and let’s just say if she could, she would have eaten macaroni and cheese and hot chocolate every single night for dinner. Ever since then for about 9 months out of the year we have hot chocolate almost every night. Hot chocolate is our favorite!

So what better excuse then to set up a hot chocolate bar party for our little one’s first birthday party!

Hot chocolate bar party image.

First birthday parties are tough because the baby isn’t really at an age where they’re going to enjoy a party and it’s more for the parents anyways, right? #wesurvived!

So, we decided to create a killer hot chocolate bar party complete with recipes and lots of DIY projects.  This would also make the perfect staff Christmas party idea, family holiday get together, or just something fun to have set up in your home for the chilly winter months.

Hot Chocolate bar party favors image

Hot Chocolate Bar Party Theme

As with any party, start with a theme. We went with a winter wonderland purple and silver glitter theme. I know technically that isn’t a “theme” but it’s the focus we needed to go crazy with the party planning. I love that I was also able to use the mini Christmas trees from our Christmas decor to help dress up the hot chocolate bar table. I also chose fonts (Butterfly Waltz and Century Gothic Bold) and a chalkboard look for all our printed pieces for the table to have a cohesive look. At the bottom of this post you can find the link to download all the chalkboard labels and recipe cards we had on our table.

You’ll never guess what we used for the backdrop of our table?…sheer curtains from our bedroom! Eek, don’t tell our guests! We just hung white lights behind the curtains using tacks so they didn’t leave big holes and honestly I think it looked AWESOME! It helped set the whole wintery magical tone of the party as our guests first walked in the room.

Sidenote: I custom-made glitter frames using my Silhouette Cameo to hold the monthly photos I took each month of Clara growing. Hung with fishline and they were the perfect burst of sparkle for a little girl’s first birthday. You can find the full tutorial and free cut file here. 

Hot chocolate bar party favors - Bailey's Irish Cream in a bottle with an adult's only label image.

Are you ready to start creating your own hot chocolate bar? Here’s what we included on our table and hopefully it gives you an idea for your own hot chocolate bar party. Besides the obvious mugs, hot water, and hot chocolate, here are lots more ideas.


  • Half & Half
  • Peppermint Syrup
  • Caramel Syrup
  • French Vanilla Syrup
  • Bailey’s Irish Cream or Kahlua

Whipped cream can wrapped in sparkle paper for hot chocolate bar party favors image.


  • Whipped Cream
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Chocolate Sauce
  • Crushed candy canes
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Andes mint pieces
  • Sprinkles
  • Marshmallows
  • Sea salt

Chopped chocolate mints in a bowl for hot chocolate bar party favors image.


Hot Chocolate Recipes

We thought it would be fun to include recipe ideas to give people an idea of what type of hot chocolate they could make. Here are the recipes I included on the table. As with the mix-in and topping labels, I’ve included 4×6 recipe cards as a free printable that you can download using the sign up box at the bottom of this post.

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

  1. One scoop cocoa mix
  2. Add 3/4 mug hot water
  3. Add two pumps caramel syrup
  4. Add whip cream
  5. Drizzle on caramel sauce
  6. Sprinkle with sea salt

Hot chocolate bar party favors featuring peppermint syrup image.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

  1. One scoop cocoa mix
  2. Add 3/4 mug hot water
  3. Add two pumps peppermint syrup
  4. Top with marshmallows
  5. Add whip cream
  6. Add a drizzle of chocolate sauce
  7. Sprinkle on crushed candy cane

Irish Cream Hot Chocolate

  1. One scoop cocoa mix
  2. Add 3/4 mug hot water
  3. Add one pump french vanilla
  4. Add a splash of Bailey’s Irish Cream
  5. Froth until desired consistency

Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate

  1. Two scoops cocoa mix
  2. Add 3/4 mug hot water
  3. Solid layer of marshmallows
  4. Sprinkle of chocolate chips
  5. Add whipped cream
  6. Add more chocolate chips
  7. Sprinkle on chocolate sprinkles
  8. Add a drizzle of chocolate syrup

Hands down, my favorite is the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, but they all are so great! My husband’s favorite is the Bailey’s (of course!). I start my day now with a gourmet hot chocolate and it has saved me so much money because I’m no longer heading out to Starbucks practically every day anymore…they are that good!

Hot chocolate bar party favors and elements image.

I collected glass jars and containers for weeks and stored them in my garage until I knew exactly what type of containers I would need. I found this fun jar in my mom’s garage that was perfect for the hot cocoa mix. I used a silver ladle to scoop out the mix. The Bailey’s glass is an antique that, ironically, used to be my great aunt’s.

If you will have children at your party, consider having paper to-go cups with lids for them to use. It made life much easier for both kids and parents.

After reading Jen Hatmaker’s book, For the Love, I’ve really been focused on doing things I love and not wasting time on things that don’t bring me joy. One of those things is baking. I will bake but it doesn’t spark joy. So, I asked my fantastic mother to make us these darling snowflake homemade marshmallows. I mean seriously, guys, how cute are those?!

You can find the recipe we used here for homemade marshmallows.

Handmade marshmallows for hot chocolate bar party image.

I used boxes I had laying around, a wood crate, and cake stands to help bring height to the hot chocolate bar. I also used scraps of fabric from Clara’s 1st birthday skirt that we made to help cover shoe boxes and give the party more sparkle!

As you can see, we had a special The Clara hot chocolate recipe front and center on our table. Of course the birthday girl needed her own drink named after herself. (I renamed it the Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate above and on the recipe cards.)

Hot chocolate bar sign printable in a frame image.

And since this was a little girl’s birthday party, after all, we also made snowflake cupcakes and a donut tree for party guests to eat. I love how it all turned out! In the meantime, check out this donut hole tree. It’s seriously so simple but so adorable on our winter party table!

Donut tree image.

Another fun touch to this winter wonderland party was the snowflake smore party bags we sent all our guests home with. Find the full tutorial, including a free snowflake tag printable here.

S'mores party favor image.

And what party post isn’t complete without a picture of the birthday girl? Check out this darling mischievous little one-year-old enjoying her cake. You can see how I made her perfect smash cake here. It looked darling and tasted good too!

Little girl covered in chocolate cake at a hot chocolate bar image.

Dad, Baby and Mom smiling at the hot chocolate bar party image.

We had such a blast at this hot chocolate bar party and I love how all the details turned out.

Are you ready to plan your own hot chocolate bar party?

Download all the labels and recipe cards we used at our party by signing up below.

If you love this party as much as I do, I’d love for you to share it with all your friends on Facebook or Pinterest! Happy hot chocolate making!

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32 thoughts on “Tips to Throw an EPIC Hot Chocolate Bar Party

  1. What an amazing idea! I’ve currently planning a ‘lumberjack’ themed party for my husband’s 30th in February, and I think I’ll be using some of these ideas to create a hot chocolate bar, especially since I’m currently 24 weeks pregnant and have been craving hot chocolate lol Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is so fancy and beautiful. I love how you have the “for adults” on the bottles lol
    I would love to put something like this together. Thanks for sharing your tips . I might have to so a smaller scale version of this for my Christmas Party Saturday

  3. hi! its not letting me download your labels> its saying it has been removed? so cute and would love to use them

  4. Hi, would you mind sharing the password for the Hot Chocolate Bar printables? They are perfect for the coffee bar I am setting up for the Administrative Professional’s Day party tomorrow! Thanks!

    1. Hi Emily! It’s listed right above the link to the download. :) It’s ILOVEHOTCHOCOLATE. Let me know if that doesn’t work for some reason.

  5. Do you mind sharing what kind of hot chocolate mix you used and what the capacity of the hot chocolate scoop was, please? Thank you! This is adorable, and it’s so sweet of you to share your printables!

  6. Hello! This is such a wonderful idea! I’m curious how you provided the hot water. I would love to use your ideas for a service project this week!

  7. Hi there! I was just wondering if this download was still available! I signed up at the link but haven’t received anything! I know it is from a while ago…


    1. Hi Samantha! I just checked and it looks like you received the email a few minutes after you commented. If you didn’t by chance, let me know your best email and I’ll shoot the printables over to you real quick.

  8. I signed up and got the email but didn’t get the printables they were so cute I wanted them for a diy hot chocolate bar but couldn’t get them

  9. so cute!!! Do you have the printable’s for the Andes Mints and the Peppermint and Marshmellows? Just wondering because they weren’t included in the downloadable printables.

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