Butterscotch Vs. Caramel: Are These Items The Same?

Even if your stomach is full, there is always room for dessert. Be it chocolate brownies or gulab jamun, one can never say no to these sweet treats. Prepared with various ingredients and different cooking methods, each of the desserts has something special about them. Just adding too much sweetener cannot make a dish delicious. Each item in the recipe must be carefully used to create a perfect dessert

Caramel and butterscotch are two of the most important ingredients in the world of desserts. From simple candies to yummy cakes, both of these confectionery products can enhance the flavour of any sweet treat. However, most people think caramel and butterscotch are almost similar. It may be due to their appearance, but they are definitely not the same. 

What Is Caramel?

This confectionery product is said to have been invented in 1000 A.D. Caramel is made from white sugar that is combined with heavy cream, vanilla, and sea salt. It can be made into a hard and chewy candy or transformed into a silky sauce by boiling at different temperatures. Caramel is a great addition to cakes, pies, bars, scones, bread, coffee, candies, and so on. 

What Is Butterscotch?

Butterscotch is made in a similar way, but it has a different kind of sweetness. It is believed to have been created in the 19th century by a candy maker called Samuel Parkinson. Just like caramel, it is made from sugar but not granulated white sugar.  

Instead, it uses raw brown sugar. The richer flavour of brown sugar makes the butterscotch moister more than caramel, which is harder to burn. It can be used for cakes, ice cream, pudding, candies, cookies, muffins, smoothies, and many other desserts. 

The Difference 

Cooking Process 

This is the main difference between caramel and butterscotch. Caramel is made by heating white, granulated sugar to various stages. On the other hand, butterscotch is made with brown sugar and butter, which gives it a deeper and more rounded flavour. 


Caramel has a very complex flavour that ranges from sweet and rich to slightly bitter, depending on its cooking process, while butterscotch has a sweet and slightly buttery taste. It is generally described as warm and comforting.  

Colour and Texture 

Butterscotch can range from a light to medium golden-brown colour with a smoother consistency, and caramel has a deep amber to dark brown colour with various textures, starting from a gooey sauce to firm candy. However, a layman can get confused between them due to their similar appearance.