This one is for all of you incorrigible sweet tooths out there—yeah, we’re looking at you! We all love the extra kick that syrupy confections add to any dessert, but not all are created equal. Take caramel and butterscotch, for instance.  Sure, both may, to the naked eye, look almost exactly the same, but there are definitely some pretty major differences!


The stuff that makes Frappuccinos so addictive!

No matter how you choose to pronounce it, it’s hard to debate the virtues of caramel!

Now, there are many different ways to make this fun sauce, from letting the confectionery simmer in your slow cooker to employing your microwave for the task, but the ingredients still stay relatively the same.

The base of that sweet taste rests in the sugar. When making this particular drizzle, you will need to pour in some white granulated sugar—a far cry from what butterscotch calls for, which you’ll learn all about later on!

Heavy whipping cream and butter give the caramel that characteristic rich taste, while the additional dash of vanilla extract serves as the figurative “cherry on top” for this beloved dessert.

So, if you have a craving for caramel, we suggest looking into making it on your own. Trust us, the store-bought stuff is not the same. Once you stir up your own version, we promise that you’ll never go back to purchasing it at the grocery store. It’s just that good!

Crock Pot Caramel finished product on ice creamTipHero

The curious ingredients that make up a classic treat

If you’re of the younger generation, butterscotch might not be on your list of favorites, not because it isn’t great, but simply due to the fact that you may have not been exposed to it.  We don’t blame you—it’s pretty rare to see friends Instagramming pictures of butterscotch pie!

But although it may be relatively outdated, butterscotch is anything but overrated! So, don’t let the fact that it’s your granny’s favorite indulgence deter you—we’ve got to say that we think this vintage delicacy is even better than caramel.

The look and smell are quite similar, but the main difference is that butterscotch calls for brown sugar in lieu of caramel’s granulated white. This difference, of course, gives it a bit of a fuller taste and consistency.

As with caramel, the classic butterscotch sauce recipe also includes plenty of butter, heavy cream, and vanilla extract, but what sets it apart is the addition of kosher salt. If you’re a lover of caramel sea-salt-flavored goodies, then you’ll surely be drawn to this brilliant, versatile component.

Be sure to click on Mental Floss’ article here to learn how these two ooey gooey confectionary sweets differ from one of their other sweet brethren—toffee! Knowing this difference will surely expand the pallet of even the most seasoned sweet tooth. Cool stuff!

Were you surprised when you learned of these differences? What sweet do you prefer—caramel or butterscotch? Which ingredient makes a better drizzled topping? Tell us all about your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!