Difference Between Caramel and Butterscotch

Main Difference – Caramel vs Butterscotch 

Caramel and butterscotch are two types of confectionery products made from heating or melting sugar. The main difference between caramel and butterscotch lies in their main ingredients. Although both products use sugar as their main ingredient, there is a difference in the type of sugar they use. Caramel is made from white granular sugar whereas Butterscotch is made from brown sugar.

What is Caramel

Caramel is a confectionery product made out of sugar. The main ingredient of caramel is white granular sugar, but sometimes brown sugar is also used to make caramel. Caramel is made through the process of caramelization; it is made by slowly heating the sugar to a temperature of 320-350 °F. As the sugar heats, it will take a range of colors from light golden to a dark brown. Sometimes different flavorings such as citrus, vanilla, salt, etc. are also added to caramel.

A range of sweets and desserts can be made from caramel. Caramel source, caramel toffee, crème brûlée, crème caramel, brittles, nougats and caramel apples are some of these products. There are also caramel flavored ice creams or ice cream toppings.

Caramel candy, also known as cream caramel or milk caramel, is a soft, chewy candy made by adding milk/cream, butter, and/or flavorings. The sugar is heated to a temperature of 244 to 248 °F (firm ball stage) in this process. Caramel sauce is produced by adding a combination of cream, milk and water to the hot caramel.

Difference Between Caramel and Butterscotch

Caramel Appels

What is Butterscotch

The main ingredient of butterscotch is brown sugar although the term butterscotch usually refers to a combination of brown sugar and butter. Some other ingredients such as corn syrup, salt, vanilla, cream are also used in some recipes of butterscotch.

Butterscotch is made by melting the butter and sugar slowly and bringing it to a boil. Toffee is also made in a similar way, but the difference between toffee and butterscotch is that butterscotch is boiled to a soft crack stage whereas toffee is boiled to a hard crack stage. The soft crack stage is a temperature of 270 to 289 °F. Butterscotch sauce is made from butterscotch and cream and is used as an ice-cream topping.

Main Difference - Caramel vs Butterscotch

Difference Between Caramel and Butterscotch 


Caramel is made from white granulated sugar.

Butterscotch is made from brown sugar and butter.


Caramel doesn’t use butter as a primary ingredient.

Butterscotch uses butter as a primary ingredient.


Caramel is made by heating the sugar to a temperature of 320-350 °F.

Butterscotch is made by heating the sugar to a temperature of 270 to 289 °F.


Caramel is used in caramel toffee, crème brûlée, crème caramel, brittles, nougats, caramel apples, etc.

Butterscotch is used as a flavor to dessert sauce, pudding, biscuits, etc.

Difference Between Caramel and Butterscotch - infographic

Image Courtesy:

“Caramel Apples” by Neil Conway  via

“”…swirling in the butterscotch bath” by thelir  via

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