We try before you buy.

1) Small oval Simnel cake in a tin, £11.95, Bettys (0845 600 1919; www.bettys.co.uk)

Presented in a pretty tin, this elegant little creation is just the right size for two to share. Its strong almond flavour divided our testers, but this was generally held to be a superior Simnel.
Score: 4

Simnel Cake, £20, Fortnum & Mason (0845 300 1707; www.fortnumandmason.com)

Decorated with daffodils and packaged in what looks like a miniature hat box, this smart Simnel is straight out of Mr Selfridge. Sadly, the cake itself failed to deliver the necessary fruity oomph. Safe, but unexciting.
Score: 3

3) Simnel cake, £12, Meg Rivers (01608 682858; www.megrivers.co.uk)
With its speckled marzipan topping, this would look right at home on a farmhouse kitchen table. It’s the most traditional of the Simnels we tastedfruity, moist without being stodgy, and pleasingly spiced.
Score: 4.5

4) Chocolate Simnel cake, £12, The Simply Delicious Cake Company (01584 823470; www.simplydeliciouscakes.co.uk)
And now for something completely different. Those who’ve given up chocolate for Lent might be tempted by a slice of this rich, dense cake studded with fruit and nuts on Easter morning. Unorthodox, but delicious nonetheless.
Score: 3.75

5) Owl Simnel loaf, £12, Konditor & Cook (020-7633 3333; http://shop.konditorandcook.com)
What a handsome fellow! This quirky loaf won our hearts with its toasted topping, boozy crumb and hint of lemon zest.
Score: 4.75

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