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

* Follow Country Life magazine on Twitter

* Subscribe to Country Life and save; Get the Ipad edition 

  • Liz McMaster

    The Simnel cake from Meg Rivers is DELICIOUS!! We purchased a cake club membership for our Mum for Mothers Day and this was the first months flavour and it is so yummy! We’ve made Mum promise to share all the other deliveries in the future!!