I love, love, love hot cocoa any time of the year!
I love the taste. I love the creaminess. And I love the comfort it brings. Ahhh....
So when it was my turn to bring in refreshments for our weekly after-Mass get-together at my parish (St. Peter's in downtown Cleveland; pssst, I happened to design the website), it was a no-brainer to host a Hot Cocoa Station.
You may have your own special occasions to want to put together a Hot Cocoa Station, including:
- Family birthday party
- Bridal or baby shower
- Progressive dinner stop
- Girls' or guys' night out
- After-ski, -sledding, -tobogganing, or -snowball fight party
Now, anyone who's ever been on Pinterest knows you can make these stations as simple or fancy as you'd like. They've made appearances at home parties as well as wedding receptions! But this time, I wanted to keep it low-key. No fuss, no muss.
Since we were all in the holiday spirit, I decided to go with a tray that displayed mini marshmallows (both plain and peppermint), whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, ground cinnamon, and candy cane stirrers. And since I couldn't help myself, I also added a cute chalk-art sign that I put into a small frame. (You can find the free printable here to download yourself.)
I made my own homemade hot cocoa using whole milk (of course!) and Starbucks Classic Hot Cocoa Mix, which I picked up at my local Costco.
Then, what better dessert to go with hot cocoa than coffee cake? I decided to make mini bundt-cake versions so it would be easier for people to pick up and eat with their hands. So I settled on two versions: Cinnamon Swirl and Too-Much-Chocolate.
For the Cinnamon Swirl, I simply used a delicious shortcut: Pillsbury Quick Bread. But for the chocolate version, I used my daughter's favorite recipe, which just can't be resisted. (For a video how-to, click here). Hope you enjoy!
Makes 1 (12-cup) bundt cake or about 32 mini bundt cakes
Adapted from allrecipes.com
1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs, and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a well-greased 12-cup bundt pan or several mini bundt pans (like this one or this one).
- Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate If desired, dust the cake with powdered sugar.
Happy holidays, everyone!