Physics: Chocolate Cherry Star Cake

Courtesy of Cindy Blaha and Marty Baylor

How does this represent the Department of Physics and Astronomy?  Well, it is baked in the shape of a star and it is composed of “dark matter” like much of the rest of the universe.  If you want, you can arrange star sprinkles on top in the shape of constellations and quiz your students on their constellation knowledge before you let them eat it.  If baked in a Bundt pan, you can pretend it is a collapsing black hole.  Students have been known to enjoy exploring the frosting singularity at the heart of the black hole



  • 1 package Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 20-oz. can cherry pie filling
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon almond flavoring

Glaze Frosting:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Heat oven to 350° F.  Grease and flour cake pan of choice.*  In a large bowl, combine cake mix, cherry pie filling, almond extract and eggs.  By hand, stir until well-mixed.  (If you wish to use a mixer, stir gently to keep cherries intact.)  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake at 350° F for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Frosting:  In small saucepan, combine sugar, margarine and milk.  Heat to boiling.  Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add chocolate chips.   Stir until melted.   Pour over warm cake.

*You can use a Bundt, a 9”x13” or a star shaped cake pan.  If you reduce the number of eggs to 2, you can use a 10”x15” jellyroll pan and make chocolate cherry bars.  Adapted from Pillsbury’s Winter Classics cookbook.