Start making your cake the day before you want to bake it.
Place the sugar, dried fruit and brandy (or orange juice if preferred) together in a large mixing bowl overnight. Still well then cover and leave to soak.
When you’re ready to bake your vegan Christmas cake pre-heat the oven to 150°C fan/170°C/gas mark 3.
Grease a 20cm/8 inch round cake tin. Line the base and sides with non-stick baking paper.
First put your ground flax seeds in a small bowl and add the 6 tbsp water. Stir well and leave to rest until it thickens and forms a paste.
Beat the dairy free spread or coconut oil into the soaked dried fruit. Next add the flax eggs and stir well.
Finally add the self raising flour, ground almonds and spices to your dried fruit. Beat until well combined - this may take a few minutes - and pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth over the top.
Place the tin in the middle of the oven.
Bake for 2-2.5 hours or until the cake is firm and a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cover the top with foil if it’s starting to look too brown.
Allow the cake to cool in the tin then cover with a layer of greaseproof paper and wrap up with tin foil. If you wish you can feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp brandy every week until you’re ready to ice it.
When you’re ready to add your marzipan heat the apricot jam carefully in the microwave or a small saucepan. Push through a sieve and set aside for a moment.
Remove the cake from the tin and brush the apricot jam over the top of the cake. Roll out your marzipan on a surface dusted with icing sugar and carefully lift on top of the cake. Trim any extra marzipan from the cake and if you want you can save this to make shapes from to decorate the cake.
You can rewrap the cake for up to a week before adding the icing or do it immediately.
When you’re ready to ice your cake if you wish you can brush a little sherry over the top of your marzipan to help the icing stick but this isn’t essential. Unroll your icing and place carefully over the cake, using your hands to smooth it down. Trim off any excess.
Decorate with holly leaves, a ribbon and any marzipan shapes you might have made.