My teetotalling aunt has asked for a Harvey Wallbanger cake for her 82nd birthday; she says she had it once at the birthday party of one of the children in the extended family. I'm pretty certain there was no alcohol in the child's birthday cake. My aunt loves orange flavours in baking, so I guess that's what she remembers about the cake.
So I've been looking for a way to make a Harvey Wallbanger-like cake but without the Galliano and vodka. I imagine that the Galliano has a particular effect on the flavour, but I just don't want to buy a whole bottle of the stuff to make a cake (cuz I won't drink the sugary, syrupy stuff), and I think my aunt won't want a booze-ridden cake.
_I_ like licorice-y/anise-y flavours in things. I've seen licorice extract suggested as a substitute for Galliano, but that seems rather simplistic. Could I grind some aniseed and star anise and add it, along with vanilla, to the cake batter? If I do that, should I apply the ground spices sparingly? Liberally?
As for the vodka, I can't imagine what _it_ contributes to the cake in the way of flavour or texture. Can I substitute just plain, old water for the vodka? Or is there a je-ne-sais-quoi, beyond booziness, that vodka contributes to a licorice-y, orange-y bundt cake with licorice-y, orange-y glaze? If so, what substitute could approximate that je-ne-sais-quoi?