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How to make a hot-chocolate bar


Just because it’s a little chilly outside doesn’t mean a picnic is off the table. Swap your usual cooldrinks for hot cocoa and tubs of toppings to create your own DIY hot-chocolate bar.

How to make a hot-chocolate bar recipe

A DIY hot-chocolate bar is a sweet addition to an evening picnic or one on a cooler day, or simply a fun dessert alternative.

You’ll need

  • a flask of hot milk or hot chocolate or cocoa
  • a jug of cream or can of whipped cream
  • mugs or recycled glass jars for serving
  • spoons
  • a selection of hot-chocolate bar toppings and mix-ins

Here are six ideas for delectable toppings and treats to get you started. Mix and match according to your taste or what you have in your grocery cupboard.

1. Go nuts

Nuts and chocolate have always gone hand in hand. Just because your chocolate is in liquid form doesn’t mean you can’t still have the delicious flavour you love. Drop a few blocks of Heavenly Hazelnut Bubbles into your mug for nuttiness without the crunch.

2. Spice things up

Spices can lift your hot chocolate from simple and sweet to complex and enticing. Warming cinnamon and cloves will tingle on your tongue, while cooling cardamom and nutmeg will smell amazing and help cut the richness. If you’re feeling brave, try a pinch of chilli flakes.

3. Whip into shape

For adding creaminess to the mix at your hot-chocolate bar, there are a few options. Whoosh whipped cream out of a can, pour in some fresh cream, or pump up the fluff with marshmallows. If you pre-chop the marshmallows into smaller bits they’ll melt quicker (goals, right?) into a frothy layer.

4. Go over to the dark – or light – side

Yes, we’re saying you should add even more chocolate to your hot chocolate. This is not the time to be subtle! A few blocks of dark chocolate will bring the richness and darker colour. Not a fan of dark chocolate? A few blocks of white chocolate will lend creamy vanilla sweetness.

5. Mug shot

Feeling like an overachiever? Prep your mugs for your picnic beforehand by dipping the rims in melted chocolate and then in your favourite sprinkles or grated chocolate (a Heavenly Milk Chocolate slab works a treat). Keep them cool until your picnic blanket is out and you’re ready to roll.

6. Big spoon or little spoon?

Stirring a chocolate spoon into your hot milk has to be the best cardio imaginable. Make them ahead of time by melting a slab or two of your favourite choc plus a splash of milk in a bowl in the microwave, and pouring it into some silicone ice trays. (Bonus points if the ‘cubes’ are actually hearts or stars.) Next, stand a teaspoon or drink stirrer up in each chocolate cube. Plastic, bamboo or steel would work fine. Finally, put it in the freezer for a few hours to set. Pop each spoon out of the tray and keep chilled until you’re ready to serve.

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