Difference Between Caramel and Carmel (With Table)

The two words Caramel and Carmel are very likely to confuse anybody. They are written in such a similar manner that most of the people are often confused between the two. Other than the way they both look, there is nothing similar between them. It’s just one extra letter, “a”, that causes all the confusion.

This confusion is not only popular among the non-English speaking people, but also among the English-speaking people. Rather a lot of people tend to think that the two words are one and the same thing and can be used in place of each other. This of course is not at all true because both these words are as different as black is from white. 

By now everyone knows that the language English is quite a tricky one. There are numerous words in this language that look alike or sound alike but have completely different meanings. Caramel and Carmel being the greatest example.

Caramel vs Carmel

The difference between Caramel and Carmel is that Caramel is a kind of dessert that is made by cooking sugar until the sugar changes to a light, silky and toasted brown colour. On the other hand, Carmel is used while naming a place or a person.


Comparison Table Between Caramel and Carmel (in Tabular Form)

Parameters of ComparisonCaramelCarmel
MeaningIt is a food item that is sweet and is made by cooking sugar before it turns into a light, toasted colour.It is a proper noun and is used while referring to a place or a person.
PronunciationThe word has three syllables and is pronounced as ‘car-a-mel’.The word has two syllables and is pronounced as ‘Car-mel.’
Used asCaramel can be used as a common noun, an adjective or a verb.Carmel is always used as a proper noun.
Alternatively used asThe word Caramel can be used to describe a dessert, a particular shade of colour, food colour or flavour.The word Carmel is used to identify a particular beach town, a town, a person or a mountain.
Writing ruleCaramel does not have to be written necessarily written with a capital “c”.Carmel is always written with a capital “C” since it is a proper noun.
Example“You should try the caramel topping on the cupcake.”“You should visit Carmel during your summer break.”


What is Caramel?

Caramel is very popular confectionery product which is prepared by heating various kinds of sugars until they change into a light, toasted brown colour. 

It can be used in a variety of ways. It is mainly used as a flavour or toppings for puddings and other desserts like ice creams and custard. It is usually served as a candy dessert.    

Caramel is made by heating sugar gradually to about 340°F. While the sugar gets heated, its molecules tear apart and develop into separate compounds with a distinct colour and taste. The sugar then can be moulded and changed to different forms. It can be used in this form or can also be used as a creamy sauce. 

Sweet and chewy candies made using butter, sugar and milk are also called caramel. It is just like toffee. Another meaning of this word is regarding its colour. Caramel is also used to describe a light brown colour.


What is Carmel?

Carmel is always used as a proper noun. It is used while referring to any place, a town or a particular person. It can only be used as a proper noun and so it is always written beginning with a capital “C”. 

The origin of the word Carmel is centuries-old because this word can be found in the Bible as well. In the Bible, Carmel is used to identifying two different places. The first place is a coastal mountain range in Palestine, which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and is called Mount Carmel. The second distinct place in the Bible is an ancient Israelite town in Judea which goes by the name Carmel itself. 

However, in today’s date, the meaning of Carmel extends much more than just the two historical places. It is still used to define the Mount Carmel- the mountain range in northwestern Israel. Along with that, there is a town named Carmel in the central part of Indiana. Also, there is another town in the western part of California, which goes by the name, Carmel-by-the-Sea. 

Another area where Carmel is used is as a name. Carmel is a very popular female name as well. 

Main Differences Between Caramel and Carmel

  1. Caramel is used to describe a food item which is sweet and is made by cooking sugar before it turns into a light, toasted colour whereas Carmel is a proper noun and is used while referring to a particular place or a person.
  2. The word Caramel can be used either as a common noun, an adjective or a verb. On the other hand, the word Carmel is always used as a proper noun, with no exception.
  3. Since Caramel is not a proper noun, it can be written beginning with a small “c”, whereases since Carmel is a proper noun, it always begins with a capital “C”.
  4. The word Caramel can be used to describe a flavour, a dessert or a  colour wheres Carmel is used to describe a particular place, a town, a mountain or a particular person.
  5. Caramel has three syllables in it and is pronounced as ‘car-a-mel’ whereas Carmel has two syllables and is pronounced as ‘Car-mel.



The word Caramel and Carmel are quite confusing no doubt. But with just a little attention to the detail, it can be figured out that the meaning of both the words is quite different and has no resemblance whatsoever. 

Both words mean very different things and have their own context. Thus, despite having similar spellings, one of the words means a type of sweet food while the other is a proper noun that can be used to identify a place or a person.


  1. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf970878i
  2. https://digitalcommons.ric.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://scholar.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1007&context=jm_newspaper_columns
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