Soft and tender on the inside and crispy on the outside these cauliflower buffalo “wings” are so close to the real deal it’s hard to believe!
This recipe is a great substitution for buffalo wings and can be made gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian. Dip in ranch or blue cheese for even more added flavor.
They are baked to make them a little healthier and easier on the waist-line. I haven’t tried frying these yet, but when I do I will update this post.
Now the key to make these wings crispy on the outside is by dipping them in a flour/water batter. I’ve also added some spices to the batter to give the wings extra flavor!
This batter can be easily made vegan by using water or almond or soy milk instead. Whisk the flour, spices, milk, and water until little to no lumps appear. Dip the cauliflower into the batter, in batches.
After the cauliflower is fully coated, place it on a greased sheet pan. Be sure to drain as much batter as possible off the cauliflower before placing on the pan. I poured my entire batch in at once and all the extra batter stuck together while baking.
After the cauliflower has cooked for 20 minutes, remove it and drizzle buffalo sauce on it and return to bake for another 20 minutes or until it’s crispy.
Baked Buffalo Cauliflower wings
- 1 head of cauliflower approx. 4 cups of florets
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk for vegan: use water or almond or soy milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour can sub gluten-free rice flour
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp of paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1 cup Frank's red hot sauce
- 1 tbsp butter for vegan: use earth balance buttery spread
- Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or grease very well with oil. Preheat your oven to 400-425 F depending on your oven.
- Wash and cut cauliflower head into bite-sized pieces/florets.
- Mix the milk/water/flour and spices in a medium mixing bowl (set aside the hot sauce and butter for later). Mix until the batter is thick and is able to coat the cauliflower without dripping.
- Dip the cauliflower in the batter. You can do this one by one or in batches. shake off excess batter before placing cauliflower on the baking sheet. Lay the cauliflower single layer on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown, flipping the florets over halfway through to get all sides golden brown and crispy.
- While the cauliflower is baking, get your buffalo wing sauce ready. In a small saucepan low heat, melt butter and mix in hot sauce. Remove from the heat just as it starts to melt. Stir together and set aside.
- Once the cauliflower is done its first bake in the batter, remove them from the oven and put all the baked florets into a mixing bowl with the wing sauce and toss to coat evenly. Return cauliflower to the baking sheet and bake in the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until reached desired crispness. Serve with ranch, blue cheese, or your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy!
Sofia Da Silva says
These are wonderful cauliflower wings. Have baked them a few times and adjusted baking times due to my dodgy oven. Always turn out lovely. Even better the next day after being stored in the fridge.
I absolutely love these, they are a bit labor intensive, but well worth it for sure! I had struggled with the vegan obsession with cauliflower for a long time, because well it truly was my least favorite veggie..turns out I was just preparing it in an old fashioned (read boring 1950’s) way. This recipe really is a winner, and will change the way you see cauliflower forever.
Fantastic – served these to a group of construction workers and they all LOVED them and wanted the recipe “I’ve had chicken wings like this – sh*t this is good”.
Followed the recipe almost exactly; however, I used only water (no milks), and added it incrementally to create both “thickly” and “thinly” battered cauliflower wings.
No problems with them sticking to the parchment paper. Great recipe – thank you!
Love these! I originally mamde them with chickpea flour and th second time with tapioca flour as it was all I had. Chickpea definitely wins, love the nuttiness I brings to the flavour party. Thanks so much
These were tasty but I had to amp up the spices because they just weren’t spicy enough for me. It would be helpful if you sprayed your parchment paper so the florettes won’t stick otherwise, everything will stick & all the battery will come off and you won’t have anything left on your florettes.. ( just sayin) I also put the florettes in a colander and shook up off is much of the batter as I possibly could, before I put them in the oven on and sprayed the parchment sheet. I’ll try them again but I definitely add Tabasco sauce to the batter again.
I used “Carbalouse flour” because I’m trying to do a low-carb diet for health reasons (I have high blood sugar)
There was far too much batter! next time I’ll just make half that amount and once I coded the cauliflower I put it in a colander and tried to shake as much off, as I could before I put them on a baking sheet w/paper on it. I also added Smoky paprika, onion powder and Tabasco chipotle sauce to the batter. I also mixed up some hidden valley ranch powder with low-fat no dairy “coconut yogurt” it worked! I cranked my oven up to 450 so they get a little color to them after I swirled them around in a pan with the plant butter hot sauce mix.
Waiting on the second cook right now and they smell fabulous!! 😋
These are surprisingly delicious! My only suggestions are:
1) don’t overcook or they get too soft
2) popped mine into the airfryer which helped crisp them up (however, my regular oven has been temperamental)
Delicious! I made a couple changes, I used smoked paprika and didn’t add cumin, I didn’t add all the water so it was pretty thick and I tossed a bunch of them in homemade whole grain bread crumbs before baking. I put them on a rack on the cookie sheet, the breadcrumb wings didn’t stick to the rack the other ones did.. We preferred the ones with the bread crumbs.
Definitely will make them again.
These turned out so good!
I used almond flour in place of regular flour and franks buffalo sauce instead of org franks.
Only thing I would do differently the next time is not use frozen cauliflower but instead use fresh. Using frozen makes the florets soggy which required me to cook it more; which is okay.
Thank you for the recipe. I will def be making these again!
I found there to be too much batter prepared so I ended up ladling some (maybe half) into a mixing bowl then tossing the florets in and swooshing the around, flipping them in it. The first one I tried to dip had soooo much batter dripping off, I thought dipping an entire batch would take forever. lol These had a good coating with not a lot of excess to run off. Make sure your cauliflower is good and DRY before dipping!!!! Also had to bake longer, but I left my florets on the larger side. It was about a half hour for the first bake and another 20 for the 2nd bake. I was using a large, thick HEAVY roasting pan and that always adds to cook time. Would’ve been less on a thin baking sheet.
I’ve tried a half dozen buffalo cauliflower recipes so far, they’re either too dry/powdery, the coating doesn’t stick.. yadda yadda. This one is by far my favourite so far. Next I’ll try this same thing as a honey garlic cauliflower!
Thanks for the recipe!!
I found this recipe by accident. I am so glad I did. I turned a friend on to it, now both of us are hooked!
Trial and error made it work.
Don’t just accept the amounts of liquid as prescribed in the recipe. Add the water little by little. You want to keep the batter as thick as possible. If it’s too wet, it just runs off the cauliflower and burns to your pan.
Additionally we found that double battering the florets is great! When you go to flip the florets after the first twenty minutes, give them another run with new batter, but use the hot sauce as a liquid in the batter. Dip them again and put them back in the oven for another 20 minutes.
The key is getting the batter to bind to your core, whether it’s cauliflower or broccoli (my friend’s preferred core).
I am going to slice portobello mushrooms next time and try to create a (chicken strip) type of portion.
Use your imagination. No spice in your cabinet is out of the question. In fact, I am also going to add onion flakes next time to give the batter some texture.
Thank you for the recipe!
Please update your instructions to say, mix in the spices into the batter! I didn’t do that because it didn’t mention to mix in the spices when mixing the flour and water and milk…. sooo I would recommend adding that to the instructions please
ugh im sorry im dumb and just didn’t read
When I made these for the first few times, they were good but not crispy enough. Now when I make then I roll them in crushed up corn flakes and it’s a game changer. Love this recipe with the addition of the corn flakes 😊
Parchment paper is a must, flip them half way through cooking after you put the sauce on. If you want crispy, try turning on high broil the last 2-3 min.
Slowly trying to transition into a vegan diet so I thought I’d try this recipe out. Unfortunately, I did not like the way it turned out. It was quite bland and the sauce didn’t crisp up the cauliflower like Id want it to. Wasted an entire cauliflower.
Delicious! I used vegan ingredients and used BBQ sauce instead of Buffalo because the Buffalo sauce I had on hand was fattening and I’m trying to watch fat content right now for health reasons. They don’t taste exactly like chicken to me, but they’re so good I don’t care! I can’t wait to try it again with teriyaki sauce.
Jeremiah M Taylor says
The best cauliflower I’ve ever made! I also made a bbq sauce which was so good together. They weren’t super crispy I was also making fries so the oven wasn’t as hot as the recipe called for so I’m assuming that’s why. But I popped them in the air fryer and they got super crispy and delicious!!!
So happy to hear that!!
Fairly easy to follow and foolproof for late night and beginner chefs like myself, this one came out really well. Pleasantly surprised AND impressed. Will be making these again. I also didn’t make a dipping sauce, and found they were moist and flavoursome enough without.
We used to get Buffalo cauliflower from a vegan restaurant and then I found this recipe and we have not ordered them since! My husband and I are obsessed with these! This recipe works perfect every time!
Susanne R Currier says
We absolutely loved this dish! I was babysitting a toddler so I just threw it all together. I did not make a separate dipping sauce. It turned out amazing. Next time I will do it the same way!
Phylliss Cartwright says
I used chixpea flour, but everything turned out good,one of my appetizers for Christmas,plus will be making oster mushrooms chicken. Thank you
i absolutely love these but they always stick and end up half coated when i turn them 🙁 any ways i could stop this?
Try using parchment paper to prevent them from sticking! They are not the best looking but they do taste delicious 🙂
Mary Grisanti says
My batter stuck to the pan not the cauliflower! What did I do wrong. The taste was great so I will keep trying.
Did you use parchment paper? The parchment paper helps you peel any batter!
This was a great recipe for my first time. Didn’t have any spices so I used a package of gf French onion soup mix with my flour. 1/2 cup chickpea flour and 1/2 cup rice flour. Added the water and mixed until the right consistency and didn’t end up using all the water. Also added some hot sauce to the batter to the party started early! So yummy. Thank you 💖
OMG, i absolutely love those, i ate the same recipe for a whole week everyday as my kids kept on asking for it.
now they are a bit chubby but well, you win some you lose some.
So glad to hear that, Peter!
Great recipe! Easy to follow I would recommend a quick broil in the end just to get a nice crisp to them but overall great recipe. Thanks for sharing.
I’m looking forward to preparing these for DuperBowl Sunday!!!
Normally I love vegan cauliflower wings. I decided to try a new recipe and these were unbearable. They didn’t coat well, the cooking times were off, and they ended up disgusting tasting. 0/10. Find a different cauliflower recipe for next time 🙂 #GoVegan
Sorry the recipe didn’t work out for you 🤷♀️
“Disgusting tasting” – going to guess this was user error. Even people that commented that they didn’t follow the recipe didn’t complain about the taste. Hard to screw up there but congratulations I guess.
Ugh, these are seriously my favorite. I definitely go towards the upper end of the cooking times here in the Midwest to get them crispy. Love this recipe!