Gather the hot cocoa toppings and sweet treats and make a Hot Chocolate Charcuterie Board for Christmas!
This fun and festive dessert idea is great for a cozy family afternoon at home or a holiday party with friends.
This post was originally published on November 17, 2020, and has now been updated with more information to create a Hot Chocolate Charcuterie Board that your whole family will love.
The minute the weather starts to cool down, my boys always ask for hot chocolate! But this year I decided to level up and make a full-on Hot Cocoa Board!
Why This Works as a Hot Chocolate Station
This fun topping bar idea takes your standard mug of hot cocoa and makes it out of this world.
It’s easy to make and so fun to serve. And you can make one just for your family or use this as an excuse to host a party.
A hot chocolate station is fun for adults and children. And you can get creative with what you add to make it fit any theme you are going for.
Whether you make a gourmet hot chocolate from scratch (like my Orange Cardamom Hot Chocolate) or use store-bought packets, these toppings will let each person create a delicious dessert drink that they’ll love.
How to Make Hot Chocolate Charcuterie Boards
Decide on Aesthetic
Make your board as elaborate or as simple as you’d like. You can keep it to just hot cocoa toppings or you can include small cookies and treats like I have and make it more of a grazing board.
Decide what your ultimate goal is for the board. Are you trying to keep it themed to one flavor, like chocolate or peppermint? Or do you like the look of something monochromatic?
Before you start picking up items, you will want to think ahead to the finished look of the hot cocoa trays.
Find a Tray or Board
I like to use a tray with sides rather than a flat board. While a flat board looks great for a charcuterie platter that will be enjoyed by adults, children will eff that s up.
Using bowls keeps everything tidy and also means you need fewer treats. You can easily fill in any empty space with decorations.
If you are trying to keep costs down, look for a smaller tray. Sometimes we love the look of an overflowing tray of goodies but that can get really expensive.
Also consider where you will be setting up your Cocoa Charcuterie Board so you know if you need to leave room on the tray for the mugs.
These Santa mugs are stupid cute, right?!
Gather the Cocoa Toppings and Treats
Although I wasn’t going for a one-color look, I did try to keep things to white, chocolate, beige and red. That way, it would still have a cohesive look but not be really hard to put together.
I bought way more than I needed but I knew that we would enjoy anything we didn’t use right now at a later date.
If something was on the expensive side, I just bought one or two and bought less expensive items to fill in.
Hot Chocolate Board Ideas to Inculde:
- Hot cocoa mix
- Peppermint candies
- Candy Canes
- Rolled cookies
- Chocolate covered pretzels
- Hot chocolate on a stick
- Flavored syrups
You may also want to have some sort of whipped cream (or dairy alternative). Kids love whipped cream!
Set Up The Cocoa Board
Since I know that the hot cocoa is a focal point, I wanted to place that first and then build the board around that.
I grabbed a variety of white bowls, in different sizes, and spread them out on the tray.
I added the treats in the bowls making sure to pay attention to how the colors were spread out and also making sure the heights were different so it kept everything looking interesting and intentional.
I filled in the empty spaces with some cute green vase filler (check Target, they have some cute options). It really added to the holiday look.
But you could fill in with other cookies, popcorn, etc. And if you’re totally crazy, you could fill in the whole tray with sugar and then nestle the bowls into that to make it look like snow…
It would look SO cute. But I am ant and mess averse, so I couldn’t do it.
You can also decorate the area around the board with a sign kit.
How to Serve
Set out some mugs and gather the kids! When I saw these Santa face mugs I knew I needed to get some. They have a few different skin tones which I LOVE.
Fill the mugs with hot water and put whatever size measuring spoon your hot chocolate mix calls for in the jar to make keep things easy.
Or make a big old batch in a crockpot.
Use spoons or a frother to mix the cocoa.
Then stand back and let everyone go to town. Eyes will absolutely light up when your family sees this Hot Chocolate Charcuterie Board.
For the most part, you don’t even need serving utensils, just let the kids use their hands.
While this is 2021 and we’re all worried about cooties, I’m guessing for the most part, these trays will be made to share with immediately.
You can provide serving tongs or even plastic food gloves if you prefer.
Set out little appetizer plates if you have also included cookies on your cocoa bar.
While this toppings board is a little bit elaborate, I think we all could use some extra special touches and details right now.
Not only is this a fun idea for a cozy afternoon, it’s also a fun Christmas hot chocolate station. Set it up for brunch, a winter birthday celebration or any other time someone needs a treat.
It’s easy to make this more winter-focused by just swapping out the Santa mugs for some plain ones. (But if you leave them it makes the cutest Christmas Brunch charcuterie board!)
If you want some chocolate board ideas you can use a similar process as above, remove the hot cocoa, and just add different types of chocolate candies, cookies and desserts.
You could also turn this into a coffee charcuterie board by swapping out the hot chocolate for coffee. You can add different types of creamers, sugars, flavorings (like this homemade cinnamon coffee creamer), and little treats to pair with it.
And if you wish you were enjoying a cup of hot cocoa with your friends but can’t make a party of it, you could always drop off a mini version for them to enjoy.
- Make Candy Bar Trains! This train activity is a little bit easier than making gingerbread houses and still super fun. Use Christmas miniatures to make them festive as centerpieces.
- Sip along to my Hallmark Christmas Movie Drinking Game! You can even use a cup of hot chocolate.
- Save this list of Holiday Movies on Netflix for when it’s time to wrap all the presents!
Build your own Hot Chocolate Board
Visit my Amazon shop with everything you need to make a hot cocoa charcuterie board at home or use the arrows to scroll through the items from other retailers below.