Caramel Sauce vs. Syrup: What’s the Difference? (Explained)

If you’re a fan of caramel’s flavor, you probably enjoyed it in so many types of desserts and drinks. Most likely, you have even tried any food that has caramel on it. However, if you encounter an option to choose between caramel sauce or caramel syrup, you may wonder what they mean. So, you may ask:

What is the difference between caramel sauce and caramel syrup? Caramel sauce and caramel syrup have several differences, but the most noticeable differences are in their consistency. Thus, it’s in your preference which one is best and should be used in your food or drink.

Despite sharing many similarities, some things work well with syrup rather than a sauce, and the same goes the other way. Thus, you need to know the differences between the two to understand each one better.

This article will walk you through all the differences between caramel syrup and caramel sauce. This way, you can know which one to choose and understand your preference when choosing between the two.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Caramel Sauce vs. SyrupPin

Is caramel sauce and syrup the same?

No, caramel sauce and caramel syrup are not the same. While both products are made of caramel and taste like caramel, they are two different things and have different uses and purposes.

For instance, caramel syrup is the thinner liquid you’ll usually find in tall bottles with pumps. On the other hand, the sauce is the thick liquid you usually find in small bottles.

Another thing is that sauce is also another thick syrup. But, on the other hand, the sauce is more expensive, and you can usually enjoy it at an extra cost.

The sauce is a lot closer to the caramel you put on ice cream. But on the other hand, the syrup is relatively thin and easily dissolves in liquid. Thus, it gives a caramel flavor to the drink.

What is caramel sauce?

Caramel sauce is the main component in drinks, and desserts usually have heavy cream or another fat-heavy ingredient. In most cases, a caramel sauce may contain butter or vegetable cream. As a result, caramel sauce usually has a consistency that you’ll see in a ganache.

In general, caramel sauce is used as a topping. However, it’s also used to line the interior of a cup if the customer requests such.

What is caramel syrup?

As the name suggests, caramel syrup is a syrup mainly composed of sugar and water. The only difference is that this syrup is cooked to concentrate the water and caramelize the sugar.

Further, the caramel syrup is usually dairy-free and has a thin consistency. Thus, it can easily dissolve even if you use it on cold drinks.

What is the difference between caramel sauce and syrup?

Below, I’ve broken down several aspects where we can compare the differences between caramel sauce and caramel syrup. You can check on each one to understand caramel sauce and caramel syrup.


When it comes to consistency, you can find caramel syrup to be more fluid and versatile. In addition, it has a thin consistency, which makes it ideal for flavoring drinks. On the other hand, the sauce is thick and dense, making it ideal for decoration or garnish in drinks and desserts.


Syrup is usually used in both hot and cold drinks when it comes to usage. Moreover, you can also enjoy it with coffee-based drinks or non-coffee-based drinks. On the other hand, caramel sauce works best in hot drinks. However, it is mainly served as a garnish on cold drinks.

Vegan options

If you’re a vegan, you can find more caramel syrup options than caramel sauce. For instance, caramel syrup is usually vegan, but it can also contain some honey. On the other hand, caramel sauce has a few vegan options, but most of these products include dairy.


Caramel syrup is usually cheaper than caramel sauce. In general, caramel syrup costs average. On the other hand, sauces may be the same, but they are usually sold in bulk. Thus, you buy more caramel sauce and spend more money than you would on syrup.

Calorie Count

The calorie count is higher in the sauce than it is with syrup. For instance, caramel syrup only contains about 20 calories per pump. On the other hand, caramel sauce contains around 30 calories per pump.

What is the difference between Starbucks caramel sauce and syrup?

Starbucks Caramel Sauce and Starbucks Caramel Syrup are their consistency and use. 

For instance, the latter is mainly used to infuse the caramel flavor to the entire drink because they distribute and dissolve better in drinks, even in cold ones. 

On the other hand, the former is mainly used as a drizzle or garnish. Because of its thick consistency, this product can be added to the cup’s interior and make the drink more delicious.

Thus, it all depends on the use of these two products. However, as long as you understand their consistency, you can know when to use either.

Is caramel drizzle and caramel sauce the same?

Yes, caramel drizzle and caramel sauce are the same. The caramel sauce is usually called caramel drizzle because of its thick consistency. 

As the name suggests, it’s made for drizzling into the cup or on top of drinks and desserts. For instance, caramel sauce is usually drizzled on whipped cream for an aesthetically pleasing drink.


There are a few differences between caramel sauce and caramel syrup, but their consistency is the most noticeable. As a result, it is up to you to decide which one is best and which one to use on your food or drink.

While they share many similarities, certain things are better served with syrup than a sauce. Therefore, to understand each one better, you need to know their differences.

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Image credits – Canva

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