Amanda Hesser’s Chocolate Dump-It Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

So it’s 10 o’clock and you missed the 9:45 “Hide and Seek” at the Chelsea Clearview Cinema (which you wanted to see not because it looked good, but because it looked fun (Lisa saw it today and said it wasn’t bad and then I made her tell me the ending which I don’t normally do but for this one I just wanted to know)) and then the group of 5 people you’re with decides to come back to YOUR apartment (after you invite them, of course) to watch Paris Hilton host SNL. Only Paris Hilton didn’t host SNL last night, that’s next week—last night’s host was a rerun of Colin Farrell which I was really happy about not because I love Colin, but because the musical guests were the Scissor Sisters who I love and have never seen perform before. So that was fun.

But anyway. People are over. They’re drinking beer. What can you cook them?

A lightbulb goes off. “Amanda Hesser’s Dump It Cake.” You just dump everything in a pot and you have cake. It’s really easy. If I had sourcream I could have made the normal cake and made her chocolate sour cream frosting. But instead, I use her recipe for buttercream frosting and make cupcakes.

So the cupcakes are crazy easy. I’m not giving away the recipe because I’ve given away enough Hesser recipes, but you can easily copy it out of the book in the book store. But at this point, even if you don’t like her, just buy her book because the recipes are great. Every one so far has been a success.

I recruited Lisa to help me in the kitchen. We began by melting butter and unsweetened chocolate and sugar and water together:


You let it cool and then you whisk in milk and cider vinegar (anyone have any idea why cider vinegar is good for this cake?) and the flour baking soda baking powder salt mixture:


Pour into lined cupcake tin (I halved the recipe so it only made 12). Oh, and Lisa should get the credit for pouring the batter into the cups–she did it very well. She even cleaned it up for this photo:


It bakes for 20 minutes and they all puff up nicely and we inserted a spaghetti strand straight in (this is a good alternative to a cake tester) and it came out clean. Done!


We let these cool on the cooling rack and we made the icing. The icing’s crazy easy. It’s just powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and some milk. (I’m not telling you proportions! Haha! You so don’t know the proportions.)


Lisa insisted on frosting them. “I’m the Queen Froster!” she said. I let her do her thang.


Our guests nibbled them greedily.

“These are really good,” they said.

Seriously, they got As across the board. And they’re really easy. People even talked abou them today.

“We talked about the cupcakes again today,” Lisa said after telling me about the movie. “They were really good. We should make them again.”

And there you have it. Dump-It cupcakes. The perfect solution to a Saturday night with friends and without Paris Hilton.

9 thoughts on “Amanda Hesser’s Chocolate Dump-It Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting”

  1. I’m making Jersey Janet cupcakes for the Super Bowl. I’ll have the recipe up tomorrow–it’s my secret (well, not after tomorrow) recipe that’s the best. We’re having it with Jersey Janet Juice–recipe up yesterday.

  2. I’d bet the cider vinegar alters the pH the same way sour cream, buttermilk or yogurt might. In fact, I’ve substituted milk-and-lemon-juice for buttermilk in recipes before and it works pretty well.

    Look at me, getting all scientific on your ass!

  3. The cider vinegar (but I think any kind of vinegar could be used here) makes the batter slightly acidic, so that the baking soda can work as a leavening agent. The fact is that baking soda won’t make anything rise if the medium is not acidic. I find it interesting that I have been meaning to try all the recipes you have tried so far! So far I have made the orange and fennel soup and the almond cake, both were big hits.

  4. Shame on you for not including the recipe for Amanda Hesser’s Dump-it cupcakes! :p Which book is it from anyway?

  5. i just wanted to clarify – i would never say that “hide and seek” wasn’t bad. it was bad. it was not AS BAD as i thought it would be.

    but really, those cupcakes were scrumptious. yum yum yum all the way.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top