Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

January 20, 2023

Appetizers and Sides

By: Chris Petrellese 

These Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings are seriously addicting! They’re crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and coated with a finger-lickin’ good buffalo sauce. Bake these up on game day and watch them disappear in minutes. All you need is 10 ingredients to make this delicious vegan appetizer!

cauliflower wings up close

Ingredients You’ll Need 

  • Cauliflower: Use either 1 medium head of cauliflower cut into florets, or purchase pre-cut florets to make prep quick and easy.
  • Flour: We only tested these buffalo wings using all-purpose flour, but based on experience, swapping the flour with a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend should work well.
  • Cornstarch: Acts as the thickening agent and helps the flour batter stick to the cauliflower florets. 
  • Spices: A simple blend of salt, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder is all you need for a savory flavor base. 
  • Non-dairy milk: It is very important to use unsweetened non-dairy milk. Double check the ingredients do not contain sugar or preservatives that can cause it to taste sweet. 
  • Buffalo sauce: Either Primal Kitchen Buffalo Sauce or the Frank’s Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce are great here. Both are naturally dairy-free and vegan-friendly, but if you are looking for a creamier sauce, go with Primal Kitchen. 
  • Agave: A little sweetness to balance the heat! Agave nectar is the perfect liquid sweetener that is neutral in flavor. It can be replaced with maple syrup for a bolder flavor or even simple syrup. 
  • Vegan butter: We highly recommend vegan butter over oil here. Its savoriness compliments the heat in the buffalo sauce and helps make a brushable sauce.  
ingredients on dark background

Equipment Needed

How to Make Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

  1. Whisk together the dry batter ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. 
  2. Add non-dairy milk. Once the dry ingredients are well incorporated, pour in the non-dairy milk and whisk until a smooth batter forms. 
  3. Coat the cauliflower florets. Add in the cauliflower florets and toss them together with a spatula. Once the florets are coated, space them evenly on the prepared baking sheet. 
  4. Bake. Bake the breaded cauliflower florets for 30 minutes, flipping after 20 minutes. 
  5. Prepare the buffalo sauce. While the cauliflower bakes, combine the buffalo sauce, agave, and melted vegan butter in a large bowl. 
  6. Toss the baked cauliflower in the buffalo sauce. Once the cauliflower has baked for 30 minutes, add the florets to the bowl with the buffalo sauce and toss to combine.
  7. Bake for 15 more minutes. Add them back to the baking sheet and bake for another 15 minutes until crispy. Broil for the last couple of minutes if desired to make them extra crispy. 
  8. Serve while crispy. Serve buffalo cauliflower wings with desired dipping sauces and additional appetizers. 
up-close of wings and dip

What to Eat Cauliflower Wings With

Cauliflower wings are the ultimate party appetizer. We recommend serving alongside celery sticks, carrot sticks, and a couple of dipping sauces. You can’t go wrong with Oil-Free Vegan Ranch Dressing, Avocado Tahini Dressing, or Vegan Bleu Cheese.

If you’re looking for additional sides or appetizers to pair with these vegan wings, you’ll also love our Vegan Potato Salad, Vegan Mac and Cheese, Vegan KFC Fried Chicken, and even Stuffed Jalapeño Popper Burgers.

Check out our top 30 Vegan Game Day Recipes, too!

cauliflower wing being dipped into ranch

Storage Instructions

Baked buffalo cauliflower wings are best served when fresh and crispy. Over time, the breading becomes soft. With that being said, you can store leftover cauliflower wings for up to 3 days. 

For best results, reheat cauliflower wings in the oven or air fryer. Set the air fryer or oven to 375°F and reheat for 5 minutes or until warm and slightly crispy. 

We would not recommend freezing these cauliflower wings. The moisture in the cauliflower will make the breading soggy. 

Tips for Success

  • Tap off the excess batter before placing on the baking sheet. If there is too much batter on the wings, it will run off the cauliflower and pool on the baking sheet. After tossing the cauliflower wings in the batter, tap it on the side of the mixing bowl before placing on the baking sheet.
  • Avoid overcrowding the baking sheet. Placing the buffalo cauliflower wings too close together on the baking sheet will cause them to steam as opposed to crisp. Give them ample room – use multiple baking sheets as needed. 
  • Bake for the full time. This is the key to making the cauliflower super tender and chicken-like. 
plat of cauliflower wings with sauce and celery

Recipe FAQs

Can I use frozen cauliflower florets?

Unfortunately, no. Frozen cauliflower will release all of its excess moisture when baking and make the batter too wet. For best results, only use fresh cauliflower florets when making cauliflower wings.

Can I make these buffalo cauliflower wings less spicy?

If you are sensitive to spice, substitute half of the buffalo sauce with our Date Sweetened BBQ Sauce. This will make them less spicy yet still rich and saucy. We’d also highly recommend serving with Vegan Ranch. Its creaminess will cut the heat, too! 

Why are my cauliflower wings soggy?

If your buffalo cauliflower wings are soggy coming out of the oven, it is possible your oven was not hot enough. In order to get these baked cauliflower wings extra crispy, it is important to use high heat. If your oven tends to run on the cool side, turn up the heat to 450°F. Another possible reason is that you coated too generously in the buffalo sauce. A light coating is all you need!  

More Vegan Appetizer Ideas You May Enjoy: 

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you recreate any of our recipes, we love to see your photos!

Print
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buffalo cauliflower with dip

Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings Recipe


  • Author: Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings are seriously addicting! They’re crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and coated with a finger lickin’ good buffalo sauce. Bake these up on game day and watch them disappear in minutes. All you need is 10 ingredients to make this delicious vegan appetizer. 


Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ¾ cup (90g) flour
  • 2 tablespoons (15g) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¾ cup non-dairy milk (or water)
  • ⅓ cup buffalo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. 
  3. Once well combined, pour in the non-dairy milk and whisk together until it forms a smooth batter.
  4. Add the cauliflower florets and toss them together with a spatula. Once the florets are evenly coated, add them to your prepared baking sheet. Be sure to space them out evenly, so they crisp up in the oven.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping after 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, combine the buffalo sauce, agave, and melted vegan butter in a large bowl. 
  7. Once the cauliflower has baked for 30 minutes, add them to the bowl and toss in the buffalo sauce. Alternatively, you can brush the sauce on the florets. 
  8. Add them back to the baking sheet and bake for another 15 minutes until crispy. Optionally, you can broil for the last few minutes, but be sure to keep an eye on them, so they don’t burn.
  9. Serve with vegetable sticks and vegan ranch dressing or blue cheese, and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Oven

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