Anyone who loves the Birmingham Frankfurt Market will probably have tried stollen, a German Christmas cake which dates back to the Middle Ages. Traditionally a loaf, which can be served with or without butter or cream, it tends to have a slightly dry texture, which complements the soft sweetness of the raisins and marzipan hidden inside.

This year, it seems as though many supermarkets are opting to sell stollen in slices in their 'finest' ranges rather than in traditional loaves. This seems a pity as some have lost that traditional texture which goes perfectly with a nice cup of tea or coffee. Instead, they are pretty boozy, infused with rum or brandy, and, as a result, are quite pricey.

So, if you're going to splash out on stollen this year, you need to be sure you're buying one that tastes great. We tried stollen slices and bites from Tesco, M&S, Aldi and Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Lidl and discovered they varied considerably in flavour, texture and price. We found two we loved.

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Morrisons The Best Stollen Slices

Morrisons The Best Stollen Slices cost £3.50 for six, weighing 225g, which works out to 58p each. We could smell the rum as soon as we opened the packet. The actual cake was a perfect stollen texture, which is slightly dry, and there was a nice band of marzipan in the middle.

The generous dusting of icing sugar gave the slice a lovely sweet edge and there was plenty of fruit. It was quite a large slice and it felt both traditional and decadent at the same time. Really impressed with these slices, we gave them 4 out of 5 stars.

Aldi Marzipan Stollen Bites

Aldi Marzipan Stollen Bites cost £2.99 for a box of bites, weighing 350g. There were 12 bites in the box, so it works out to 25p each, although each bite is smaller than some of the stollen slices in the other packs.

Just like the Morrisons slices, these bites had the perfect dry stollen texture. However, the marzipan was a little crunchy in the middle, which felt a bit stale. Not at all boozy, these had a decent amount of icing sugar. They were good value for money but not our favourites. In fact, we gave them just 2 out of 5 stars.

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Lidl Stollen Bites with Marzipan and Rum

Lidl Stollen Bites with Marzipan and Rum cost £3.79 for 10 bites, weighing 230g, which works out to 38p each. These had a boozy smell and taste but it felt quite synthetic, in a similar way to chocolate liqueurs.

The bites were very crumbly and the actual cake was quite moist rather than the traditional stollen texture. We liked the marzipan and gave them 3 out of 5 stars.

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Stollen Slices

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Stollen Slices cost £3.75 for six, weighing 200g, which works out to 63p each. These slices were extremely moist, not really like stollen at all. They were described as 'fruit bread slices with sultanas and marzipan filling, finished with brandy syrup, butteroil and a sweet dusting' but we couldn't smell or taste the brandy.

Whilst the marzipan was nice, we would have preferred more fruit and so gave them 2 out of 5 stars.

M&S Food Collection Stollen Slices

M&S Food Collection Stollen Slices cost £3.75 for five, weighing 200g, which works out to 75p each. I had to double check the best before date on this pack because I genuinely thought they had gone out of date.

They are described as 'fruit bread slices made with plump sultanas soaked in rum, with a soft marzipan centre' and I think the problem is that the rum has seeped into the cake slices, making them really soft and squidgy. I could see and feel this as soon as I removed them from the packet.

The flavour was seriously unpleasant. Most definitely not ones to serve to guests in the run up to Christmas. I gave them 0 out of 5 stars.

Tesco Finest Stollen Slices

Tesco Finest Stollen Slices cost £4 for six, which works out to 67p each. They were totally different to all the other stollen slices and bites. Dipped in Jamaican rum, they tasted of rum and ginger, which made them really warming and Christmassy without being overpowering or sickly.

They had a good texture which was a bit of a cross between stollen and ginger cake. Although not very authentic, we really enjoyed the soft marzipan, abundance of fruit and good dusting of icing sugar and gave them 4 out of 5 stars.

Overall verdict

We enjoyed the Tesco stollen slices as a lovely Christmassy treat. However, our favourite had to be the more traditional Morrisons stollen slices as the texture, smell and flavour transported us straight to the Birmingham German Christmas Market!

And these slices were 17p cheaper per slice than the M&S ones, 9p cheaper per slice than Tesco and 5p cheaper per slice than Sainsbury's. We'll definitely be stocking up on these for the festive season.

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