Sweet and Sticky Orange Cauliflower Bites
This blog post is sponsored post by Bob’s Red Mill. Thanks so much for supporting the brands who support Jessica in the Kitchen! All texts and opinions are my own.
I’ve made cauliflower wings and cauliflower bites more times than I can count. My Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Wings were named one of the recipes that “won 2016” and “better than the real thing” – which was a pretty big deal to me. To say I’m proud of and in love with my cauliflower wings is an understatement. It’s one of my favourite recipe ideas ever.
Over the years, I’ve tried only a few more versions, and I’ve made them my own way. I know which type of cauliflower I like more, the sweet to salty sauce ratio and so much more. However, there’s one thing that I haven’t changed – I always make my cauliflower wings and my cauliflower bites with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour and I always prefer them that way. This Sweet and Sticky Orange Cauliflower Bites is the exact same way – and it is phenomenal in flavour.
Let’s talk flavours of these cauliflower wings first, then we get into why you should definitely be using Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten free flours here. Who doesn’t love the flavour of orange chicken that most of us grew up tasting in food courts, then always ordering for takeout? It’s sticky, sweet, but kind of tangy, and has a distinct and reminiscent flavour that is easily identified as “ah! That’s orange chicken!” I wanted to replicate that flavour perfectly, except of course without the chicken part.
I’m happy to say that after a few adjustments; these Orange Cauliflower Bites match – like, they really do. In fact I tested it on Gav the second he walked through the door (catching him by surprise made me feel like a food detective, of course) and he immediately said “oh yeah; that’s orange chicken flavour!”
As amazing and crucial as the sauce is, the base of these orange cauliflower bites is what makes them supreme aka, that beautiful batter. It’s also what earned them all of those titles. I’ve kept it the same because I fell in love with my original formula and wanted to keep it that way. The batter on the cauliflower makes it taste deliciously crisp and gives it that “chicken-like” breading texture.
That’s why I love using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour for this. Not only does it make these gluten free, the texture of the flour mixture is so nice and tender, making me prefer these over all purpose flour. It keeps it light and flavourful, instead of dense. It means it bakes through perfectly in time, every single time. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour has the ideal blend that I stand behind time and time again for these babies. So you can rest assured that your baked orange cauliflower bites will “taste like the real deal”. Not going to lie – I love hearing those words!
I really hope you guys love these as much as we did! The sauce is perfect as is but feel free to up sweetness or saltiness based on your own preference. Enjoy, friends!
Sweet and Sticky Orange Cauliflower Bites
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 1/2 if you want it very spicy, leave out if you don't like spice
- 1 cup crispy gluten free panko bread crumbs, seasoned with salt and pepper OR brown rice cereal puffs crushed and seasoned*
- sesame seeds and chopped scallions, to garnish
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons liquid aminos/low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoons cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water, stirred together until cornstarch is dissolved
- Preheat oven to 450°F/230°C. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with a silicone baking sheet or greased foil.
- Remove florets from the cauliflower (aka don't use the stem). Chop the cauliflower into smaller pieces to resemble the size of bites.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the gluten free flour, almond milk, salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder and crushed red pepper flakes in a bowl to make the batter.
- In another separate bowl, place the breadcrumbs. Line it up beside the batter bowl.
- Toss the cauliflower in the batter mixture one at a time, shaking off excess batter. Do not soak. Then, dip the cauliflower into the breadcrumbs to coat completely, then place onto the baking sheet. Repeat until all of the bites are coated.
- Bake for 22 minutes. Please ensure your oven is completely preheated and hot. While baking, prepare the ingredients for the sauce (see below).
- Remove from oven. Toss the bites in the sauce then using tongs or even just a large spoon, coating completely. Remove from pot and place back on the baking sheet. Bake for another 5 minutes for the sauce to soak into the bites.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately with sesame seeds and chopped scallions. Enjoy!
- While the bites are baking and have about 5 minutes left, in a pot over high heat, mix all the sauce ingredients, except the cornstarch slurry.
- Bring to a boil and boil for about 1 minute, then reduce heat to medium low. Add in the cornstarch slurry and whisk vigorously until dissolved into the sauce. Let it cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Taste a little bit to decide if you need more sweetener or more soy sauce.
1) Don’t use olive oil to grease the baking sheet since it will burn the bottom of your bites. If using a silicone mat, you don’t need to grease it at all.
2) The batter will only adhere to the cauliflower bites dry. So, if for any reason you wet your cauliflower, it has to be 100% dry for the batter to stick. 3) If you want to substitute soy sauce, PLEASE taste the sauce before it goes on the bites first. Some soy sauces can make this too salty. I recommend a reduced sodium soy sauce. HOW TO STORE CAULIFLOWER BITES
You can store these Cauliflower Wings in airtight tupperware container in your fridge for up to 4 days, and reheat them in an oven until warmed. They taste best fresh. I wouldn’t recommend freezing these as the batter may get soggy. HOW TO USE FROZEN CAULIFLOWER Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Heat the cauliflower for 15 minutes in the oven. Remove and drain off the excess liquid in a strainer. Toss the cauliflower lightly with a few tablespoons of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour , coating lightly to soak up any liquid. Now, proceed with the recipe! * I used brown rice cereal puffs this time around they added a delightful crunch.
Disclaimer: Although jessicainthekitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Jessicainthekitchen.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.
Hi!! This may be a silly question but what is a good substitute for almond milk? Would coconut milk suffice?
Not a silly question at all! Yes you could use coconut milk, but not the thick tinned one, it would have to be the boxed coconut milk. You can a nut milk that isn’t too thick, if that makes sense. I hope that helps and that you enjoy!!
I made these for my book club and they were a hit. I had flax milk so that’s what I used, and had to use a little extra “milk” to thin out the batter. I made my own sticky sauce and reduced it on the stove top because I wanted to serve it on the side to keep the cauliflower crunchy. These cauliflower were seriously crispy and delicious! Thanks for the recipe!
I’m so happy to hear that!! Thanks for sharing your feedback & your own additions!!
Commenting on this solely for the orange sauce (but I’m sure these are great with cauliflower wings since I love Jess’ cauliflower wings in general)
Make this orange sauce!! When I first became vegetarian, one of the meals I was sad to give up was orange chicken, now I can make this sauce and add it to my tofu or whatever I want! Also it tastes better than the jar sauce at the grocery stores because those usually taste artificially / cloyingly sweet to me, and here most of the sweetness comes from the juice itself versus other sweeteners! I prefer my sauce a bit tangier/ less sweet so I’ve used more OJ and less maple syrup than this suggests (also orange zest really takes this to a whole new level!)
Aww haha I love making this sauce separate too for even like tofu!! So happy to hear you enjoyed it so much and thanks so much for sharing your suggestions too!!
I am so impressed with this recipe 😋 the flavor was so tasty.
We’re so happy to hear that Aracely! Thank you so much for your kind words!
Very happy with how these turned out! You’re becoming my go-to blogger for cauliflower recipes.
Oh wow, we’re so happy to hear this! We’re also happy that you like the recipe.
Awesome recipe. The entire family ate a whole (large) head of cauliflower. It was a hit. We love anything cauliflower….keep the recipes coming!!!!
If you have any butternut or acorn squash recipes, would live them too (‘cause it’s almost fall!)
Thanks so much Carrie!!
I was impressed with how easy these were to make! I’ll definitely be coming back to this breaded and baked cauliflower technique to use with other sauces–it worked really well. For this recipe, I’m going to double the sauce next time; it was that good!
Aww thank you so mcuh Lydia!! I’m so happy to hear this!!
Could you use chickpea flour instead of baking flour?
Hi Kim thanks for reading. You should be able to.
So good!! I like extra crispy so next time I will use the sauce as a dip. Got husband approval, too!
Thanks so much Cassie! We’re happy that you and your husband liked it.
This recipe was SO delicious and I will be making it again soon! I replaced the water with extra orange juice in the sauce, which really upped the flavor, and also doubled the sauce recipe so we could eat it alongside th air fryer orange tofu. Served everything with brown rice, scallions, and sesame seeds, and it was absolutely divine.
Thanks so much Aimee! We’re happy that you enjoyed it. Love the decision to pair it it with rice and the choice of garnish.