When looking for an ice cream topping, dessert lovers might notice that caramel and butterscotch syrups look and taste pretty similar.

The confectionaries are both made with melted sugar, but they use different ingredients. Caramel is a mix of white granulated sugar, heavy whipping cream, butter, and a dash of vanilla. Butterscotch, on the other hand, is made with brown sugar instead.

Butterscotch originally was just a hard candy. The suffix "scotch" is not related to alcohol, but to the method of cutting. Hard candy is difficult to break into clean pieces, so the candy is "scotched" (scored) to make it easy to cut later.

As for toffee, it has the same ingredients as butterscotch but is cooked longer. Toffee is cooked until the hard-crack stage, meaning there is a 99 percent sugar concentration.