Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites with Spicy Marmalade Sauce

I love the richness and crunch of these coconut cauliflower bites. The spicy marmalade sauce adds a yummy hot and sweet flavor to these tasty appetizers. Serve these delicious morsels fresh from the pan – guests will love eating them while they’re hot.

I really love the coating for these cauliflower florets. You dip each bite into flour, then a plantbased milk & vinegar mix (making vegan buttermilk), then a mixture of coconut and flavored bread crumbs. These appetizers are baked, but if you prefer, you can fry them in a neutral oil like grapeseed or sunflower oil. I never, NEVER fry anything, but I wanted to try these fried because they looked so good! The first time I made them I fried them. But, after trying them baked, from now on I will bake them. The coating sticks to these very well using either method, so whether you bake them or fry them is up to you.

coconut cauliflower bitesThe sauce for these is easy: mix as much hot sauce as you’d like (I used Tabasco) in with the marmalade, then microwave until the marmalade is a sauce consistency. Any sweet jelly, jam or preserves will work in place of the marmalade. After microwaving, just stir and dip in! I microwaved mine 10 to 15 seconds at a time, stirring between each time. One or two times of microwaving should do the trick. If you’d like your sauce a little bit spicier, sprinkle in some red pepper flakes.

With the head of cauliflower I had, about medium-sized, I got 48 cauli bites. The number will vary by cauliflower head size and the size you cut the pieces. I kept my pieces around an inch to 1 1/2 inches and they cooked through perfectly.

For coating, I recommend actually making two small bowls with the flour and two small bowls with the coconut bread crumb mixture. As I made my bites, I found that about half way through the process, both the flour and the bread crumb mixtures were clumping up from the plantbased milk on my fingers. The last time I made them, I made two bowls of both of the dry ingredients, so halfway through the process, I switched to the second, drier bowls for coating.

If you fry these, place the cooked cauliflower bites on a paper towel lined plate to soak up any excess oil before serving. We ate many of them while they were hot and they were fantastic. I popped some of the leftovers into the fridge and reheated them in the microwave later and the next day. The oil flavor comes through a little bit more when these are reheated, which is another reason I prefer to bake them.

This recipe was adapted from Spec of Gold. I used an entire medium-sized head of cauliflower, rather than a half head, and had more than enough coating.  I lowered the salt from one tablespoon to one teaspoon and they tasted just fine!

If you are looking for more appetizers, you might also enjoy these very delectable Guacamole Stuffed Red Potatoes.

Print Recipe
Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites with Spicy Marmalade Sauce
A tasty appetizer perfect for any party or gathering, served with a spicy sweet marmalade sauce.
coconut cauliflower bites
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
For the cauliflower bites:
For the dipping sauce:
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
For the cauliflower bites:
For the dipping sauce:
coconut cauliflower bites
Instructions
To make the cauliflower bites:
  1. Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Cut the cauliflower florets into bite size pieces, about 1- to 1 1/2-inches each.
    coconut cauliflower bites
  3. Combine the plant based milk and the vinegar. Stir and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, until it curdles or thickens. making vegan buttermilk.
  4. Divide the all purpose flour in half, putting each half in a small bowl to use for coating.
  5. In another small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, coconut and salt. Put half of this mixture into another small bowl.
    coconut cauliflower bites
  6. Dip each piece into the flour, then the vegan buttermilk mixture, then the coconut bread crumb mixture. (About halfway through the cauliflower pieces, when the flour and bread crumb mixtures begin to clump, switch to your second bowls of each dry bowl.)
  7. BAKING: Place each coated cauliflower piece onto the lined baking sheet, leaving an inch or two of space between each piece.
    coconut cauliflower bites
  8. BAKING: Bake for 25 minutes until the pieces are lightly browning (they'll be darker on the bottom). Remove from the oven and carefully flip the cauliflower pieces over using a spatula. Return to the oven, and bake 20 to 25 minutes more until the coating reaches the desired brownness and the cauliflower is tender.
  9. FRYING: If frying, add oil to a skillet to about 1/2 inch or slightly deeper. Heat on medium to high heat until a wooden spoon bubbles slightly when dipped into the hot oil. Put each piece into the hot oil in the skillet and fry until golden brown. Try to flip only once, but flip to all sides as often as necessary to brown. The coating will remain intact. Put the fried pieces on a paper towel lined plate to remove any excess oil.
  10. Serve hot with spicy marmalade dipping sauce.
To make the marmalade dipping sauce:
  1. Add drops of hot sauce to the marmalade or your favorite sweet jelly or preserves, to taste. Microwave to melt the marmalade slightly and give it a sauce consistency. Stir. Top with, or stir in, dried red pepper flakes to make the sauce spicier, if desired.
Recipe Notes

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Leave any feedback in comments below. Also, share your comments on Instagram: @key_lime_coconut or on Twitter: @keylime_coconut.
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