How to Set Up a DIY Hot Chocolate Bar

I’ve got a fun idea for you to help any little ones in your life celebrate the holiday season this winter … a Hot Chocolate Bar!

Now, it’s not all 100% real food, but I did what I could to make things somewhat homemade and also dye-free. This would be the perfect addition to a Cookie Swap or Gingerbread House Making Party—all things my girls are totally into right now!

Hot Chocolate Bar on 100 Days of Real Food

Supplies Needed for a Hot Chocolate Bar

It did take me a little time to pull everything together, but my 6th grader (who loves to help with things like this) loved every minute of it. 🙂 Here’s a list of our supplies:

As you can see on the top row, we also thought it’d be fun to add a little game where the kids could guess how many marshmallows were in the jar. The winner takes all! What’s your guess?

Hot Chocolate Bar setup on 100 Days of Real Food

I was excited to have another reason to make homemade marshmallows (besides our end of school year, backyard, movie party with smores). I always include store-bought (dye-free) marshmallows as well, because I know some kids won’t touch anything that looks too different from the norm!

homemade and store-bought marshmallows on tray on 100 Days of Real Food

Lastly, I’d say the kids’ creations came together pretty well – they were not scared to pile ’em high! This turned out to be a lot more fun than I was even expecting (and I promise, I thought it’d be fun!). I ended up leaving it set up for the rest of the weekend so my husband and I could indulge as well along with anyone else who stopped by. 🙂 I’ll definitely be doing this again next year! And it will be even easier now that I have all the stuff.

Hot Chocolate Bar on 100 Days of Real Food

I’d love to know if you’ve ever set up a Hot Chocolate Bar and included anything I did not mention here. If so, please do tell! And here’s that Homemade Hot Cocoa recipe for you (made with maple syrup instead of sugar)…

Homemade Hot Chocolate


Hot Chocolate Bar on 100 Days of Real Food


  • 6 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powderI like the Hershey’s special dark version
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup


  1. Warm the milk in a sauce pot over low heat. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and syrup for a couple minutes until combined. Drizzle into the milk and stir to dissolve. 

  2. Transfer to a large insulated carafe or pitcher and serve with toppings of choice.

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