How To Make a Gluten-Free Chocolate Board – Build a gluten-free hot chocolate “charcuterie” board with fun hot chocolate toppings, mix-ins & more!
I’m an introvert, so my favorite kind of holiday party or entertaining is on the smaller, cozier side. Cold weather and the holidays are the perfect time for a little cozy moment, and a steaming mug of hot chocolate is one of my favorites.
Maybe you want a fun way to warm up on a chilly afternoon, or you’re hosting a Favorite Things party with friends, or friends or kids for a cookie decorating party, or having a girls’ night with treats and a holiday movie.
One fun way is to set up a hot chocolate bar with your favorite toppings, mix-ins, and complements for your hot chocolate. I love doing this with a hot chocolate board. It’s just a cute, fun way to display all your favorite hot chocolate toppings, mix-ins, and sides to make serving and snacking as easy as possible. Add a pot or slow cooker full of your favorite hot chocolate, and you’ve got an instant party!
Best of all, though they look fun and fancy, they’re REALLY easy to put together. Here’s what you’ll need to get started on a gluten-free hot chocolate board…
hot chocolate “charcuterie” board, at a glance:
Supplies You’ll Need For A Hot Chocolate Board
- A Board or Baking Sheet. I used this marble and wood board (which I love!). You can make your hot chocolate board as large or small as you like. Make a small one for two with a smaller board, or serve a crowd by dressing up a larger board, large platter or baking sheet.
- Some Small Bowls. I use small bowls to help me corral messy or small items (marshmallows, whipped cream, etc.) It also helps break up the board visually, which looks great!
- Tongs Or Spoons. Keep things easy to grab (and sanitary!) by setting out some tongs and spoons to help you along.
- Mugs Or Heat-Proof Disposable Cups. I usually don’t put these *on* the board itself, but if you’re planning to serve hot chocolate, it’s best to keep some mugs or heatproof disposable cups close by!
- Napkins Or Small Plates. These make it easy to collect your toppings and keep things neat.
- All Your Favorite Goodies! Now, you’re ready to build a beautiful hot chocolate charcuterie board with yummy toppings, mix-ins, and more!
Toppings & Ideas For A Gluten-Free Hot Chocolate Charcuterie Board
Classic Hot Chocolate TOPPINGS:
- Whipped Cream or Whipped Coconut Cream (There are lots of store-bought options these days to make things easy!)
- Marshmallows or Mini Marshmallows – Classic hot chocolate toppings like this are perfect! You can also use vegan marshmallows, if needed!
- Flavored Marshmallows – Experiment with fun flavors! Smashmallow is one of our favorite brands. So many fun flavors to choose from!
- Chocolate or Caramel Sauce – These can be fun to swirl in or drizzle over a pillow of whipped cream. You could also do flavored syrups!
Cookies & Other Fun
- Gluten-Free Cookies – store-bought or homemade! (Get our favorite store-bought gluten-free cookies & brands in our printable idea sheet!)
- Coconut Rolls – These rolled wafer cookies are delightful and can be dipped, dunked, or eaten alongside your cocoa.
- Chocolate or Yogurt-Covered Pretzels – So fun to add to a gluten-free hot chocolate dessert board!
- Gluten-Free Donuts. Pick your favorite or mix and match a few flavors!
- Gluten-Free Graham Crackers – channel s’more vibes!
Candy & Chocolate
- Chocolate Chips or Mini Chocolate Chips
- Toffee Bits
- Crushed Peppermint
- Peanut Butter Cups
- Candy Canes, Mini Candy Canes, Or Peppermint Stir Sticks
- Caramels (The softer ones melt better!)
- Cinnamon Sticks
4 Tips For Making A Pretty Hot Chocolate Board
1. Think About Color.
If you’re overwhelmed by how to put the items on your board in a pretty way, thinking about color can be one way to help you get started! Here are a few ways you can think about it:
- Space out items of the same color (like dark chocolate) across different parts of the board so that they’re not all bunched in one spot.
- Create an ombre effect by going light to dark or dark to light.
- Make a pattern of dark & light items to break up the colors.
- Stick to a single color palette (like brown, white, and red) to help things look cohesive!
2. Work In Groups Of Threes.
This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but if you don’t feel like you have a natural eye for putting things like this together, one idea to help you is to work in groups of threes. Have 3 different chocolate items or kinds of cookies, or items of similar colors (candy canes, crushed peppermint, and cookies with red sprinkles)? Space them out in a rough triangle on your board. Odds tend to be more interesting and dynamic to our eye than evens, so this can be a great way to add some visual interest to your hot cocoa board.
3. Use Small Bowls For Small Items.
An easy way to corral smaller items (like crushed candy canes, chocolate chips, toffee bits, etc.) is to put them in a small bowl. I’ve had a few sets of these small bowls for years and LOVE them, but Target also carries lots of affordable small dishes like these white ones or these striped ones (seasonal).
4. Don’t Feel Like You Need To Buy 100 Different Things!
Depending on your time, budget, or energy, you may really be excited about buying 15 different things to put on your gluten-free hot chocolate board. BUT you don’t *have* to! Charcuterie boards and hot chocolate boards can look beautiful with even just 4-5 things grouped nicely.
Feel free to work with a smaller number of items (say, marshmallows, chocolate, mini candy canes, whipped cream, and sprinkles) and repeat each item a few times. It’ll look beautiful & be fun and special!
Printable List of Ideas For Making A Gluten-Free Hot Chocolate Board
To make things as easy as possible, we also made a little printable list with 50+ ideas for your hot chocolate bar, along with lots of our favorite gluten-free brands and flavors to try. It’s handy to bring to the store, email a friend, or keep on hand when you want to mix things up!