Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Liberally grease two 8″ or 10″ round cake pans with vegetable shortening, and/or spray with baking spray.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pudding mix in a large mixing bowl. Add in eggs and water, beating just until smooth.
Carefully add melted butter to the batter, mixing on medium speed until smooth.
Divide batter into two bowls, with about ⅔ of the batter in one, and ⅓ in the other.
Flavor the larger batch with orange extract, tint orange. Flavor the smaller batch with anise extract, tint black. Stir both until everything is fully incorporated and smooth.
Divide batter among prepared cake pans, using whatever marbling technique that you prefer. (Random globs work best for this recipe.) To marble the batters, use a butter knife, held straight up-and-down. Starting at one side of the pan, run the knife through the batter in a long zig zag motion – hitting both the “top” and “bottom” of the pan, from your view – all the way to the other side. Then, turn the pan 90 degrees, and repeat.
Bake until golden and knife inserted into center of batter comes out clean and cake springs back – about 45-60 minutes.
Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before turning cakes out onto baking rack to cool fully. Ideally, allow to cool to room temperature, wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Allow cake to sit overnight, make frosting & ice cake the following day.
Prepare either American or Swiss meringue buttercream, using orange or anise extract to flavor it to taste. Tint orange or black, as desired.
NOTE: The cake pictured divided the batter equally in half, NOT ⅓ & ⅔ as called for in the recipe. I like a higher proportion of licorice flavor, personally!