Macarons have become the queens of the baking world because of their fancy looks and delicious taste. But have you ever wondered, why do these small almond-based cookies cost so much?
The main reason macarons are expensive is due to the labor-intensive process it takes to make them. Also, ingredients, especially the almond flour, are not cheap to buy and the fillings, like chocolate, buttercream, or fruit jams, can be pricey as well. Lastly, macarons are very delicate and can easily fail, therefore it requires an experienced baker.
For a regular person wanting to buy a box of macarons, they might seem overpriced and not worth the money compared to other baked sweets.
Actually, there are several good reasons for macarons being so pricey and hopefully, after reading this post you will have a better understanding of why the high price justifies itself.
Reasons for macarons being so expensive
There are multiple strong arguments to justify the high price of macarons. We have broken down some of the main reasons for that:
- Involes a a lot of handmade work
- Raw materials are expensive
- Preparation and baking takes a lot of time
- Limit on how many macarons can be baked simultaneously
- Learning to bake macarons takes a long time
- Macarons are very delicate and can fail easily
- Expensive equipment and tools needed
Involves a lot of handmade work
For most people, it is incomprehensible, why it involves so much human interaction to bake a single batch of macarons. To break it down, there are some tasks, that can not be done by machines and need a human touch instead.
For example, it is crucial to do the folding by hand, because macarons can easily fail if folded too much or too little.
Of course, you can use special machinery with specific configurations to automate folding parts, but ingredients consistencies may differ from batch to batch and therefore makes it really hard to have the same settings every time.
To get the best-looking macarons with perfect consistency, many bakers prefer to do some parts of the baking process manually and in consequence, it raises the prices, unfortunately.
Raw materials are expensive
To make macarons, you need numerous ingredients and some of them can get quite expensive. Typically, macarons are made of almond flour, powdered sugar, white sugar, egg whites, and food coloring.
In addition to that, depending on the filling used between the shells, it requires more raw materials like buttercream, creamed cheese, liquid flavors, fresh berries, etc.
The most expensive of these ingredients is of course almond flour.
TIP: I have also written about how to make almond flour at home to save some money.
Why is almound flour so expensive?
As the only components of almond flour are the almonds, the price highly depends on the raw nuts price. We all know that almonds or nuts in general are quite expensive to buy to begin with, but there is a very good reason for that.
Almonds require a very specific climate and they can’t be grown in every part of the world. Also, they are a quite low yield, and therefore it drives up the prices.
Last but not least, the demand for nuts has grown significantly worldwide, because its health benefits for humans have been more studied and written about publically.
Preparation and baking takes a lot of time
As said before, baking macarons means a lot of handwork. This can be highly time-consuming, but necessary to make perfect macarons
Before starting to bake macarons, you have to think all the steps through thoroughly. It is usually necessary to do all the work without interruption in one batch to avoid failures.
Also, all the ingredients must be carefully weighed before starting. Even a small mistake in this step can ruin all the macarons.
Limit on how many macarons can be baked simultaneously
Macaron batter does not want to stand outside for a long time and must be used immediately after the batter is folded together. This means, that you can’t make very large batches at a time, because otherwise the batter would be ruined.
Unless you have many ovens and multiple people working on a single batch, it is nearly impossible to bake a very large quantity at one time.
Learning to bake macarons takes a long time
Macarons are one of the most difficult desserts to make as they are very delicate and can easily fail. Even the smallest things like the wrong humidity in the room can ruin the batch.
For many bakers learning to bake perfect macarons and to understand the whole process thoroughly takes a lot of time and testing. This also raises the prices as there are not that many bakers who want to dedicate themselves to learning all the small details about it.
There are a lot of mediocre macaron bakers around, but to get the highest quality, a high-paid specialist with a lot of hands-on hours is required.
Macarons are very delicate and can fail easily
We have all heard that even a small mistake in the making process can ruin the macarons. Failures can occur more often than with a regular dessert and therefore it increases the overall price.
There is not much to do with lopsided or cracked macarons and usually, bakeries simply have to throw them away. The time and ingredients put into making these unsuccessful macarons is something you can’t take back and bakeries have to make it up with another batch.
TIP: I have listed some of the key mistakes to avoid while making macarons in another post. I suggest you take a look at it to avoid making these mistakes by yourself.
Expensive equipment and tools needed
Even if you try to avoid expensive equipment, there are some things you need in order to bake macarons. This includes things like an electric mixer, digital kitchen scale, sifter, silicone spatula, and so on.
Of course, it is possible to save on certain things, but using some of the pricy equipment can dramatically increase the quality of macarons and decrease the time spent on baking.
As a hobby baker, it is totally fine to use regular kitchen appliances to bake macarons and not spend a fortune on fancy machinery. On the other hand, if you want to sell your baked goods to clients and ask for good money, it usually is crucial to make some investments in the appliances.
TIP: If you are interested to read more about the equipment needed, I recommend taking a look at my post about tools needed to make perfect macarons.
As you can see, there are actually some very good reasons for the high price of macarons. All those small things added together raise the overall cost and that is the reason, why macarons are considered to be luxury products.
Enjoy your macarons!