Novel Baking: ‘Tis the Season for Hot Cocoa Party Recipes and Tablescape


I’ve had visions of Candy Canes and Snowflakes

dancing in my head with Nigella Christmas

and The Novel Bakers this week!

Nigella Christmas-001

‘Tis the Season

for Hot Cocoa. . .


Snowflakes. . .



Candy Canes. . .


and Warm Plaid Layers.


With our recent wintry weather,

I was craving Nigella’s

Hot Schnocolate. . .


A delicious concoction of Hot Chocolate

with Peppermint Schnapps in it!

Candy Cane Cocoa

With plans for enjoying a warm cup of cheer, I mixed up a jar  of Candy Cane Cocoa Mix for quick & easy seasonal sipping, and ideal for gift giving!

I found this Anchor Hocking 38 oz. Snowflake Jar at Walmart for $2.97 a couple of weeks ago. 


Candy Cane Cocoa Mix

Yield: Makes 1 quart mix or 12 servings Hot Cocoa


1 cup powdered milk

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy/ candy canes



Layer powdered milk, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, chocolate chips, and peppermint candy.

This mix will fill a 1-quart jar (12 servings).

The ingredients are layered for gift giving, but the contents are mixed together in a bowl, and put back in the jar to measure out for cups of cocoa.

On the back of the tag, include directions:

“Pour contents in a large bowl, mix well and return to jar or airtight container. For each serving, place 1/3 cup cocoa mix in a mug and stir in 1 cup boiling water.”

Serve topped with whipped cream, additional marshmallows, crushed peppermint or candy canes.

Printable Recipe


Little burlap Ho Ho Ho tins were in the dollar bin at Target, ideal for individual buckets of fun to serve and include additions to your Candy Cane Cocoa Mix for a party or gift giving.




Add a mini bottle of

 Smirnoff Fluffed Marshmallow Vodka

to add the Ho Ho Ho to your Cocoa :)


You can include mini marshmallows, Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses or chocolate candy of choice, a candy cane to stir or Hot Chocolate Stirring Spoon to go with your Candy Cane Cocoa.



Hot Chocolate Stirring Spoons

 Hot Chocolate or Cocoa Stirring Spoons are quick and easy to make with plastic spoons, candy melts or almond bark and decorative holiday sprinkles.


Melt your candy coating according to package directions. Dip or fill spoon and place on wax paper. Add decorative candy sprinkles or crushed peppermint and allow to harden. Spoons are ready in 15 – 20 minutes.




And Candy Cane Marshmallow Chicks

add some seasonal Peepsonality

to your Hot Cocoa!






Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

For a quick and easy treat with the busy holiday season, I found a Hot Chocolate Cupcake Box Mix from Betty Crocker complete with marshmallows in the mix and a frosting packet!


The cupcake mix makes 12 cupcakes. I used Pillsbury Peppermint Creamy Frosting instead of the packet included for a little additional peppermint flavor and added a *mini candy cane for an edible mug handle on the cupcake!


*If making these cupcakes ahead, add the candy cane right before serving since the moisture from the frosting will cause the candy cane to begin to dissolve.

Tis the Season for Hot Cocoa

‘Tis the Season for Cocoa Details:

‘Tis the Season Plates / Pottery by Santa, HomeGoods

Nordic Flatware / World Market

Plaid Dinner Plates/ Pottery Barn

Goblets/ Kohl’s

Chargers & Snowflake Sugar Tin / HomeGoods

Coverlet and Lauren Plaid Throw / Kohl’s

Napkins / Pottery Barn & World Market

Napkin Rings /Pier 1

Snowflake Mugs & Snowflake Jar / Walmart


Visit Jain and Michael Lee for more delicious fun~

 a quiet life

Rattlebridge Farm

The Novel Bakers return on Friday

for more Merry Nigella Christmas!


Hot Cocoa Party Pails

Sharing with:

 Metamorphosis Monday

  70 comments for “Novel Baking: ‘Tis the Season for Hot Cocoa Party Recipes and Tablescape

  1. December 11, 2013 at 6:09 am

    Mary, this is the cutest holiday post ever, ever, ever! Nigella’s
    Hot Schnocolate always accompanies us on our snowshoeing treks through the woods. After two hours in the cold, we are more than ready! Merry Christmas to you and your family. xo

  2. December 11, 2013 at 7:07 am

    Such a cute setting and fun ideas Mary! After 4″ of additional snow yesterday and temps not going above 28 today I think I could use a mug of Schnocolate:@)

  3. December 11, 2013 at 7:22 am

    Good morning! What wonderful gift ideas! They are great ideas for guests to take home from a holiday party!🎄

  4. Cheryl
    December 11, 2013 at 7:53 am

    What a wonderful post today, Mary…loved everything about it! I just want to make it all! Wonder if Target would still have those adorable burlap containers…I better run! :)

  5. Bonbongirl
    December 11, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Perfect timing- I absolutely love every detail of this post and can’t wait to gift the Candy Cane Cocoa Mix! Your photos and attention to detail are like no other, however, I am curious… when is a “Mary Christmas” book due out?!

  6. December 11, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Holy Hot Chocolate! Your Ho Ho Ho Cocoa mix is the cutest version ever, and who wouldn’t love some hot schnocolate or some fluffy marshmallow vodka? In fact, I would like some right now with a Hot Chocolate Cupcake with Peppermint frosting please! Is there anything you didn’t think of? I laughed out loud when I saw the peeps! I know how you love them!! The mugs are adorable what great Wal Mart finds~The tags really caught my eye, did you make those? Such fun!!

    • December 11, 2013 at 8:53 am

      Thanks and Happy Birthday Jenna! The tags are from Target…’Can-O-Tags’, don’t you love it? 50 for $5 :)

  7. December 11, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Mary, you must be your friends’ most favorite gift giver!! Thank you for all the cute ideas, right down to the peeps and the cupcake mix. Your pretty little hands have magic in them for all the creativity and inspiration that you share. I sure could use a little hot schnocolate this evening….and one of those cupcakes, too!! xo

  8. Tricia
    December 11, 2013 at 8:32 am

    You’ve outdone yourself again. I love it all!

  9. December 11, 2013 at 8:42 am

    you are shaming me… i am recycling the same recipe from fft this week, but i have adored the hot chocolate bars i have been seeing, and now its your turn to dazzle it up! i have so many of the same pieces as you too, all at home, but i have been eager to play like this, so of course i am pretty DARN SMITTEN! like watching a twin let loose with all my favorite things!

    i love love love this! plaids, red, bright and light, omg i am such a sucker for cute things! edible ones too ;-) such a fun thermos… make that 2 cute ones!

    of course we have snowflake jars… and plaids, and tin, and dishes, WE ARE SHOPPING TWINS! but your jar is stuffed more to my liking, i would take chocolate over chutney any day… how come i can find the jar, but not your cute deer and bunny dishes… i sent scott to 2 of them, zip on the west coast, so crushed :-(

    the hohoho’s are adorable, adding so to the festive fun, fa la la la la with flavored vodka! you would be a fun neighbor to have on hand :-) excuse me, do you have any marshmallow fluff i could borrow?

    LOVE your spoons! love the whole darn post… you covered a-z on beverage fun and thank heavens you made cupcakes to wash it all down!

    that was exhilarating, if i was smart i would cancel my post, but then i would have to get back in the kitchen and sorry santa i am gonna let this one slide…fun fun and MORE FUN, lets all drink and be MARY!

  10. Sandi Allen
    December 11, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Love this!
    What a beautiful table setting. Love the bright red colors and the plaid.
    I’m gonna try to make those candy spoons. My son would Love this. And the hot chocolate cupcakes.

  11. December 11, 2013 at 8:49 am

    I love it, I love it, I LOVE IT ALL!!! What a darling cocoa bar setting, Mary.
    We’ve added Peppermint Schnaps to cocoa for years while attending football games…just to keep warm, of course. I never knew it had a name…”Schnocolate”…Cute!
    Your dishes & napkins & those darling snowflake containers are all just delightful…beautifully done, as always. *sigh* I want to come visit & watch you as your work to create these masterpieces. 🎄

  12. Suzi
    December 11, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Mary, on days when time restraints weigh heavily on me, i try to lighten my load by weeding through my inbox.. This morning i come to your post and ask myself, ” how can I not ready Mary?” So glad i popped over for this delightful vision of peppermints.

  13. December 11, 2013 at 9:41 am

    The hot chocolate I’m having right this minute pales by comparison! MuY take away from your wonderful post is the mix as gifts. It looks as good in the jar as I’m sure it tastes.

  14. linda kemp
    December 11, 2013 at 10:10 am

    I love it! I’m going to look at this everyday this week. Thank you :-)

  15. Bonnie
    December 11, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks,Mary for all your wonderful gift and serving ideas. I have used many of your ideas with great results.
    Merry Christmas!!

  16. Rattlebridge Farm -- Foodie Friday
    December 11, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Mary, I am dazzled. Just love this post. It’s memorable, a true keeper, and perfect for the holidays. Your shopping trips yield the best products and at great prices. But you make them look like something in a gourmet store. There is so much to enjoy here, so much inspiration. What a pleasure to play with you this week. See you tonight. xxoo

  17. December 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Loved the cocoa, the stirring spoons, the mugs, jars. The whole presentation.

  18. December 11, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Such a gorgeous photo display! Very Christmasy!

  19. December 11, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    It does look yummy! I love your tablescape.

  20. franki
    December 11, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Hot chocolate “bars” are so cool!! franki

  21. December 11, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Mary, Mary Christmas! I. LOVE. THIS.
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

  22. December 11, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Lordy girl, JUST when I think you can’t possible top yourself, you DO! This is AMAZING!!!!!!!!! I have the same snowflake mug, fell in LOVE when I spotted them at Walmart! LOVE the idea of the cocoa and the cupcakes, but your presentation, ALWAYS TAKES THE CAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!! You truly are the most gifted person. MERRY Christmas!!!!!

  23. paula
    December 11, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    This is a HoMe RuN!! I almost got the little hohoho tins

  24. December 12, 2013 at 3:01 am

    Loved your post. Lovely photos!

  25. December 12, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Mary, There are so many wonderful ideas and photos here–enough for several posts! I love the chocolate spoons which would be so much fun when guests drop in! And your thermoses (I want to say thermi but that can’t be right either) are wonderful, both the plaid and the shiny new one. Please make me a Hot Schnocolate and top it with those most adorable peeps ever! Marshmallow and chocolate and schnapps–you must have been a very good girl this year! Linda

  26. December 12, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Candy Cane Cocoa….and Hot Schnocolate….love everything. Can’t wait to share with guests over the holiday’s..thanks for the inspiration.

  27. December 12, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Mary, Beautiful table and the hot chocolate looks yummy. Thanks for joining the Open House party and Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  28. December 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Oh my gracious this is gorgeous as is the rest of your blog. I hope you don’t mind if I hang out here for a while and look around. So much eye candy!!

  29. December 12, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    I just love all the details you put in each and every post. The peeps are the cutest!!! Love the little cupcake on top of the upside down mug!! Perfect!! Fabulous!!!

  30. December 12, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    So wonderful! I adore all the plaid!

  31. December 12, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Just found your blog today. As a fellow lake dweller I immediately added you to my blog list. Cannot wait to get to know you better.

  32. December 13, 2013 at 1:25 am

    Stopping back by again tonight for a little hot chocolate. ‘-)
    Need to find some of those peeps for a friend’s stocking. Do you remember where you bought them?

  33. Polly
    December 13, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Love these ideas! Where do you get the precious sprinkles?

  34. December 14, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Mary, this is my favorite Christmas post so far! :D

    My kids love the hot cocoa spoons. They are so much fun! Love the vintage thermoses, too!

    I’ve bookmarked this post to re-read later on during the week!


  35. December 14, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Love the red plaid and the cocoa looks delicious!

  36. Marianne@Songbird
    December 15, 2013 at 6:52 am

    Oh,can I come over for a chocolate. It all looks so beautiful and yummy.
    Thank you for sharing this at my 12 days linky party.

  37. December 15, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I just featured this post on my blog!


  38. December 16, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Very inviting, both the decorations and the food.

  39. December 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Oh wow! This post is a feast for the eyes as well as the tummy! Great job!

  40. December 17, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Mary this has to be the prettiest hot cocoa display that I’ve seen! Love it!!

  41. December 18, 2013 at 5:35 am

    I absolutely agree! Ditto on Martina….

  42. December 18, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    What a fun table…love the flatware. I might run out to the kitchen to make some hot chocolate!

  43. December 18, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Mary – this post is so much fun – love everything, about it. You really know how to make hot chocolate for the adults. I really must try the one with Schnapps – wow! Gorgeous photos!!

  44. December 18, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Beautiful…love the plaid throw…
    Love, Mona

  45. December 18, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Love hot chocolate and the candy canes were great. Also a grand look with the plaid throw.
    Merry Christmas, Pam

  46. Te Quintessential Magpie
    December 18, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    This is the cutest thing EVER, EVER, EVER! Love the goodies in therms of food and in terms of accoutrements!


    Sheila who is dropping by from Cuisine Katleen’s Linky party!

  47. December 18, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    I am so in love with that Stanley thermos. I got fed up with thermoses as a kid after so many years of lugging beverages back & forth to school during grade school. By the time it was all said & done, I was ready to build a bonfire with my thermos! As an old lady now, though, I have a very soft spot in my heart for those old thermoses. The one here definitely reminds me of “back in the day” before thermoses were cool! ;-)

    This is a fun tablescape with so many terrific details that make me feel totally like Christmas.

    Have a very merry Christmas, and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa on me!

  48. December 18, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    OMGosh Mary! I’m loving all your gift ideas…the chocolate stirring spoons are so cute, and the peppermint Peeps…gosh, so many amazing ideas! Thanks for all the inspiration.

  49. December 19, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Another HOME RUN Mary!

  50. December 19, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I am so sorry no one likes this post, Mary! :). Everything they said was true, well almost anyway! Even if they have everything you have, no way they could present it the way you do! You also find the cutest items! Peppermint peeps, too cute!
    I am going back for another look, there’s so much to enjoy!
    Thanks for linking at Let’s Dish! Ho ho ho ping you never run out of ideas!

  51. December 20, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Just when I was freaking out about not having all of my Christmas shopping done I saw this post and remembered seeing those adorable Weck-style jars at Wal-Mart. I think I will be snagging this idea!

  52. December 2, 2014 at 10:33 am

    oh wow!!! best Christmas blog ever! The color reds, the hot chocolate, the decoration—just soooo fantastic! Thank you for wonderful inspiration <3

  53. December 24, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve found this blog a year and a few days after the fact. (12/24/14)..none the less…all charming! I am smitten with the (acrylic?) spoons you’ve used to make the Cocoa Stirring Spoons and didn’t see them listed in your T’is the Season details. Any chance you’ll see this and send a reply? Hope so:-)

    • December 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm

      Hi Mary, You can find the acrylic spoons here. Merry Christmas!

  54. Nancy Carlson
    December 31, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Hi, I love all your tablescapes! I must have those red mugs! I didn’t see that you mentioned where to get the bright red with the white Christmas tree and little (two that I could see) stars. You said snowflake mugs at Walmart. But they had pedestals. The red and white one’s don’t have. Could you please let me know….Thank you in advance.
    Nancy Carlson

    • December 31, 2014 at 7:03 am

      Hi Nancy, The red mugs with the stockings is a photo from the book Nigella Christmas :)

  55. January 1, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    Another beautiful just perfect to inspire us tablescape! I had to buy more peppermint for all the hot chocolate that was made during our wonderful Christmas celebration. I love Nigella’s Christmas. My first exposure to her was one of her Christmas shows. Happy New Year! Linda

  56. December 3, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    I actually have some whipped cream in the fridge and seeing these photos makes me know just where it should go!

  57. Carol Thompson
    December 1, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Where did you get your white/clear goblets? Who makes them? I think they are gorgeous as is your entire post!

    • December 1, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Hi Carol, All the sources are listed at the end of the post. They came from Kohl’s ❄️☃️😀

      • Carol Thompson
        December 1, 2017 at 10:05 pm

        Thanks so much, Mary! I skipped over the credits in the excitement!

Leave a Reply

Discover more from Home is Where the Boat Is

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue Reading

%d bloggers like this: