How to make baked buffalo cauliflower wings that are crispy and flavorful on the outside, with a tender middle. All you need is just 7 ingredients (plus oil and salt & pepper) and 10 minutes of prep time to make these hot buffalo cauliflower bites.
Separate the cauliflower into florets - making sure they're as even in size as possible. You can save the extra cauliflower leaves in a bag in the freezer to make 1-Pot Vegetable Stock).
Prepare the buffalo sauce by combining the chili sauce and oil (or melted butter), and set aside.
Prepare the batter by combining the flour, spices (paprika, garlic, salt & pepper) and the milk. Mix it well and you'll have a liquid batter.
Step 2: Batter the cauliflower
Dip the cauliflower florets into the flour batter and bake them in the oven for 15 minutes at 400ºF/200ºC on a non-stick baking sheet (or one lined with parchment paper).Optional - Dip each floret into the olive oil (or use a spray bottle) before the batter - this makes for extra crispy vegan cauliflower wings.
Step 3: Add the buffalo sauce and breadcrumbs
While the cauliflower is baking, set out your kitchen surface so you have the bowls in front of you containing the buffalo sauce and breadcrumbs.Remove the battered cauliflower from the oven and carefully dip each floret into the buffalo sauce, and the breadcrumbs, and then place back on the baking tray.I just dipped each floret's head in the sauce while folding it at the other end; however, you can cover the florets completely. You could also place the sauce in a large ziplock bag, add the cauliflower florets (in batches, if necessary) and shake it up to coat the florets fully.
Step 4: Bake the buffalo cauliflower wings further
Bake in the oven for a further 10-12 minutes. Optionally, broil for a few minutes in the end for even crispier results.Once ready, enjoy as a snack alongside your favorite dips: ranch dip, mint yogurt (with dairy-free yogurt if preferred), mayonnaise (or vegan mayo), etc.
How To Make Ahead & Store
Make ahead: the cauliflower florets (with no batter) will last up to a week in the fridge, in an airtight container/bag.The chili sauce can also be pre-prepared and stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. When you refrigerate the sauce, it may separate due to the oil/butter. However, you can just lightly warm the sauce (in micro oven or on the stovetop) and mix it until it's fully combined again.Refrigerator: leftover baked cauliflower wings can be stored, covered in the refrigerator for between 3-4 days.To reheat: place back in the oven at 180ºC/360ºF until piping hot.
For more heat: adjust the hot sauce (if using homemade, then adjust which peppers you use). You can also add extra heat by adding chili flakes to the breadcrumb mixture.
For less heat: you could use a combination of BBQ sauce and buffalo sauce or add maple to the sauce. Serving the hot cauliflower wings with a cooling dip can also help.
Refrigerating the sauce for a short while (while the florets bake the first time) can help it adhere better to the vegan cauliflower wings (enough to slightly thicken the sauce without solidifying the oil/butter within).