Have you ever wondered what the difference is between caramel vs toffee? They are both sugar candies, they both have the same light golden color, and they both are used in a variety of desserts. 

But that's where the similarities end. Toffee tends to be hard and crunchy, while caramel is soft and chewy. Toffee is used for brittle, while caramel is used more for candies or sauces.

So what's the difference?

coffee, sweet, cereal, cream, milk
Lauren Kaplan

It all has to do with the ingredients and what temperature the mixture is heated to. Caramel is made out of sugar, water, and cream or milk. Toffee, however, is made out of sugar and butter. 

The next difference has to do with temperature. Caramel is heated to 248° F (AKA the end of the "firm ball" stage of cooking sugar) and toffee is heated to 300° F (AKA the "hard crack" stage). Click here to see the stages of cooking sugar.

chocolate, candy, sweet, goody, toffee, sweetmeat, milk, cream
Jocelyn Hsu

On a microscopic level, caramel and toffee also have different sugar crystals. Caramel has long sugar crystals, which allows for the characteristic chewiness of caramel. The longer crystals come from the added milk in the sugar mixture. Conversely, toffee has very short sugar crystals. This is why is breaks easily and it has that distinctive crunch. 

What can you make with each?

sweet, chocolate, cream, dairy product, caramel, syrup, milk
Naib Mian

Since toffee is naturally brittle it is perfect for making bark-like treats, such as this chocolate, caramel and bacon toffee. It can also be used in making the British classic of Sticky Toffee Pudding (AKA my favorite dessert while studying abroad in London).

Caramel is used for baked goods and when you need something chewy, rather than something breakable. Some of the best things to do with caramel can include cakes, frostings, caramel apples and apple pies

If you're wondering what the difference is between these and butterscotch, this article is here to save you. Since now you know the difference between caramel vs toffee, go forth and make some deliciously crunchy or chewy desserts.