The baked buffalo cauliflower bites are little crispy balls with a spicy, smoky flavour which when dunked in some chili mayo, make for the best movie snack or side dish.
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I love how this caulflower bites recipe works as a vegetarian substitute for what usually is a crispy battered meat. It incorporates a vegetable whilst still being super tasty. It’s healthy in two ways, we’re getting nutrients from the vegetable thanks to the cauliflower bites and they’re made crispy through baking rather than deep frying.
Hot sauce and Honey
Adds an extra layer of flavour and heat to the buffalo cauliflower bites. It also adds the most vibrant colour to give the batter that deep fried look and the honey adds sweetness and helps to crisp up the cauliflower bites when they’re being baked in the oven.
Flour, Soy Milk (Unsweetened) and Baking Powder
For the batter. With the plain flour, I like the use of soy milk here, but feel free to use any unsweetened milk of your choosing. The baking powder activates the batter and causes it to rise slightly which helps to add crispiness in the oven.
Balances the smoky spicy buffalo bites nicely whilst still having a slight kick from the hot sauce that we add to the mayo. I, of course, opt for hellmans.
I go for a blend of cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, onion salt and garlic granules.
See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.
Preheat oven to 180°C FAN/ 200°C
3. Now pour the cauliflower florets into the batter and use a spatula to ensure all the pieces are evenly coated (Image 3).
4. Using up any left over batter, throw in the cauliflower leaves and ensure evenly coated (Image 4).
5. Using 2 separate greased and lined baking sheets, drizzle around half of the rapeseed oil onto the foil (approx 1.5 tbsp on each of the trays) and spread evenly across the trays. Then add the florets one by one to one of the trays and evenly distribute them so they aren’t touching each other (Image 5).
On a separate tray, place the coated caulflower leaves and distribute evenly.After around 12 minutes, the caulflower florets should be golden brown but not starting to crisp. Remove both trays from the oven.
6. Drizzle with your favourite hot sauce and honey over the florets and leaves, moving the pieces around with the spatula to evenly coat (Image 6).
7. Now pop back in the oven for around 5 minutes, keeping your eye on the florets and leaves. Remove when the cauliflower bites and leaves are crispy and golden brown. Season generously with flaky salt straight after removing the trays from the oven, as this will allow the salt to bind better (Image 7).
8. Serve with your favourite hot sauce combined with mayo to make a chilli mayo (Image 8).
I use Frank’s buffalo wings sauce, as it’s usually used on fried chicken, which is the hot and saucy vibe that we’re trying to create with the buffalo cauliflower bites.
Any hot sauce that allows you to use a higher volume without it being too spicy would work here. For example, we don’t want to use a dripping hot sauce like regular franks or tabasco, as we’d have to use a whole bottle to coat our cauliflower and it would be far too spicy/tangy.
You could use Sriracha to coat the bites, but bear in mind that you’ll get more of a sweet/Asian flavoured undertone, rather than American/buffalo vibes.
If you want to make this side recipe into a main meal, you could serve the cauliflower bites with a protein such as: pork loins, steak and grilled chicken
Other foods/recipes you could pair it with:
You could make the batter for the buffalo cauliflower bites ahead of time and prep the cauliflower ahead of time. That way, when you come to making the bites you can just combine everything and pop it in the oven. It’s best to eat them fresh out of the oven though, as to retain the crispiness, we don’t want to reheat them.
Switch the honey for maple syrup and ensure your hot sauce is vegan, then it’s vegan-friendly.
You can! If you preheat your air fryer to 190°C and then cook for 8 minutes, adding the hot sauce/honey and popping in for another 4 minutes or until golden and crispy.
No sadly not. If you froze them they would lose their crispiness and be very soggy.
If you tried this Crispy Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x