Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray generously with oil.
Wash and cut cauliflower into bite sized pieces.
In a large bowl, add water, flour, garlic and onion powder, and salt. Whisk until well combined. Place the panko breadcrumbs in a small bowl, if using.
Add the cauliflower to the batter in the bowl, and toss to combine and really coat the cauliflower. Remove the pieces of cauliflower, one by one, and tap off the excess batter a few times on the side of the bowl.
Roll each floret in the breadcrumbs to coat, then place on the prepared baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other, or they will all get stuck together as they bake. Spray the tops with oil, this will help them get super crispy.
Bake for 20 minutes. Flip them over and bake for 15 more minutes, until golden and crispy.
While the cauliflower are baking, prepare the hot sauce/butter mixture. Melt the butter in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Once melted, add the hot sauce, maple syrup or agave and stir. Set aside.
Once the cauliflower have cooked and are crispy, toss the florets with the sauce in a large bowl, then return to the pan. You can serve them immediately, or to make them crispier, put them back in the oven for 15-20 minutes. If you want them super crispy, leave the buffalo sauce on the side for dipping as you go.
Serve with easy vegan ranch (recipe included), my cashew based vegan ranch or vegan blue cheese.