Cauliflower Bagels

Crusty, chewy, fluffy bagels made with cauliflower! These bagels are low carb, keto, flourless, and gluten free.
close-up photo of a Cauliflower Bagel

I am so so so excited to share this recipe with you today. This cauliflower bagel recipe took me all month to perfect. A cauliflower bagel is something I’ve been wanting to create for a very long time.

Most of the recipes I’ve come across for cauliflower bagels are basically cauliflower bread shaped like bagels and covered in everything bagel seasoning.

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But with my New York background and very strong opinions on bagels, I couldn’t bring myself to make a cauliflower bagel that just tasted like cauliflower bread. It had at least resemble a bagel. And these really do.
overhead photo of Cauliflower Bagels
No, of course they aren’t going to be like your standard bagels. But they do have a lot of bagel-like qualities.

  • The exterior has a firm crispy crust.
  • The bagel itself is both chewy and fluffy.
  • The everything bagel seasoning gives them a bagel flavor.

Crusty Exterior

To achieve the crusty exterior, it is important to bake these bagels free form. You do not want to put them into a donut mold or anything similar. Allowing them to bake out in the open will allow the surface to dry which allows it to form the crust.

Chewy Interior

The key to the chewy interior is cheese. A lot of cheese. The melted cheese gives the chewy texture that is similar to the chewy texture associated with bagels.

It is also very important to dry out the cauliflower. Most cauliflower bread recipes do not require you to dry out the cauliflower, which is great when you want a fluffy bread, but since you want something more dense and chewy for bagels, you do need to dry the cauliflower first.

Taste

These bagels taste like cheesy everything bagel seasoning bagels. The cauliflower flavor is there but it is fairly mild. It is similar to the flavor of cauliflower breadsticks or cauliflower pizza crust.

Cauliflower Bagel Ingredients

The dough is made out of dried cauliflower, almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, mozzarella cheese and eggs. It’s only five ingredients but all five are quite essential to the recipe.

Dried Cauliflower

This recipe requires you to dry the cauliflower, which is the most time consuming step but only very necessary. If the cauliflower is not dry, the batter will be too moist and the bagels will not be able to achieve the chewy texture. They will be fluffy and bread-like only.

In the past I have shared two methods for drying out cauliflower: microwave or cheese cloth. Please refer to the recipe instructions for my cauliflower grilled cheese for microwave method of drying cauliflower or refer to my recipe instructions for cauliflower breadsticks for the cheese cloth method. For this recipe, I used the cheese cloth method.

For both methods, you first need to chop the cauliflower very fine. Even finer than the cauliflower rice that is now sold at most markets. Keeping the cauliflower this small will make it easier to dry out and to blend it into the dough so you aren’t left with chunks of cauliflower. If your chunks are too big, your measurements will also be off. I recommend chopping up the florets in the food processor until they resemble large crumbs. I have also seen people grate a head of cauliflower using the small holes section of a cheese grater.
overhead photo of finely chopped cauliflower in a food processor
The cauliflower then needs to be cooked. I usually cook it in the microwave, but you can also steam it over the stove. I don’t recommend boiling, as that will only add more moisture to the cauliflower.

Once the cauliflower is cool enough to touch, I wring it dry with a tea towel. You can also dry the entire batch in the microwave, heating a few minutes at a time and stirring in between (more details provided in the links above).
photo of cooked cauliflower in a bowl
Cauliflower holds a lot of moisture. When you are done wringing it dry, you should only be left with 1 ½ cups of cauliflower. If you have too much leftover cauliflower, your cauliflower is likely not dry enough. This could lead to the bread being too moist and it could also make the mixture too crumbly.

Almond flour

To keep the bagels low carb, I used almond flour in place of wheat flour. The almond flour helps absorb the moisture and create the fluffy bagel structure.

I usually buy almond flour online or at Costco.

Coconut Flour

A little coconut flour does a lot for these bagels. Without the coconut flour, the bagels are not as fluffy and do not rise as much. I tried using only almond flour and the bagels were very flat.

Baking powder

Baking Powder is needed to help these bagels rise and spread.

Mozzarella Cheese

I recommend a low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese. I use mozzarella instead of other cheeses in this recipe because it has less sodium, so using so much does not make the bagels too salty. Melted mozzarella is also more stretchy and chewy than other cheeses, which helps to create the chewy texture.

Eggs

You may have noticed that all the above ingredients are dry ingredients. The eggs act as a binding agent and add moisture to get a wet enough batter.

How to Shape the Bagels

Once the batter is finished, you need to pack it into the measuring cup so that it stays together. Otherwise, the batter is loose and will crumble and fall apart. The batter should pop out of your measuring cup still holding the shape of the cup, much like a cup of packed brown sugar.
photo of ball of dough
Then you form a bagel shape out of the mixture with your hands. I start by making a hole in the center with my finger. Then I slowly widen the center hole and round the exterior, until I get something that is about the size of a cake donut. I smooth out the surface before adding the egg wash and bagel seasoning.
photo of the dough shaped into a bagel
The bagels are not as smooth and puffy as regular bagels. Try to smooth out the surface as much as you can before putting them in the oven. Also these bagels are smaller than your standard bagels. They will only rise a little and be about the size of a donut.

Toppings

While you can choose whatever your favorite bagel topping is, I think that everything bagel seasoning really makes these taste bagel-like. I buy my everything bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s, but there are other companies out there that sell it as well if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you.

Storage

Please keep any uneaten bagels stored in the fridge or freezer. They can be reheated in the oven or toaster oven.

When the bagels cool, they will actually shrink and flatten slightly. If they are heated up in the oven, they will puff up again.
close-up photo of a stack of cauliflower bagels

Cauliflower Bagels

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 52 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 bagels

Crusty chewy bagels made with cauliflower! They taste like cheesy cauliflower bagels and are low carb, gluten free, wheat free and keto.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups finely chopped cauliflower reduced to 1 ½ cup dried cauliflower (see notes)
  • ¼ cup superfine almond flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups shredded low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 4 large eggs divided
  • everything bagel seasoning

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, add dried cauliflower, almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, mozzarella, 3 eggs (the remaining egg is reserved for egg wash). Mix until everything is evenly combined and moist.
  3. Pack batter into a ½ cup measuring cup. Make sure to press down and compact it, to keep the batter from crumbling. Turn the measuring cup upside down onto prepared baking sheet and shake cup a little so the batter slides out. When it slides out, it should still hold the form of the measuring cup, much like a cup of packed brown sugar.

  4. To shape bagels, use one finger to create a hole in the center. Then slowly widen and stretch out the hole. Use your hands to round the edges and top of the bagel. When you are finished, the bagel should be about the size of a cake donut and the surface should be as smooth as you can get it.
  5. Whisk remaining egg. Brush on bagels. Sprinkle generously with everything bagel seasoning.

  6. Bake bagels for about 21-22 minutes or until tops are a dark golden brown. When you apply pressure to the surface of the bagels, they should bounce back rather than collapse in. Allow bagels to cool slightly before eating
  7. Store any uneaten bagels in fridge or freezer. Reheat in oven or toaster oven.

Notes:

  • I have many detailed notes and tips of this recipe. I recommend that you read through the post and prep photos because I tried to provide as much helpful information and explanations as possible.
  • To achieve the crusty exterior, it is important to bake these bagels free form. You do not want to put them into a donut mold or anything similar. Allowing them to bake out in the open will allow the surface to dry which allows it to form the crust.
  • This recipe requires you to dry the cauliflower. If the cauliflower is not dry, the batter will be too moist and the bagels will not be able to achieve the chewy texture. They will be fluffy and bread-like only. You can do this with the microwave or cheese cloth. For this recipe, I used this cheese cloth.*
  • For both methods, you first need to chop the cauliflower very fine. Even finer than the cauliflower rice that is now sold at most markets. Keeping the cauliflower this small will make it easier to dry out and to blend it into the dough so you aren’t left with chunks of cauliflower. If your chunks are too big, your measurements will also be off. I recommend chopping up the florets in the food processor until they resemble large crumbs.
  • Cauliflower holds a lot of moisture. When you are done wringing it dry, you should only be left with 1 ½ cups of cauliflower. If you have too much leftover cauliflower, your cauliflower is likely not dry enough. This could lead to the bread being too moist and it could also make the mixture too crumbly.
  • A little coconut flour does a lot for these bagels. Without the coconut flour, the bagels are not as fluffy and do not rise as much.
  • I recommend a low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese. I use mozzarella instead of other cheeses in this recipe because it has less sodium, so using so much does not make the bagels too salty. Melted mozzarella is also more stretchy and chewy than other cheeses, which helps to create the chewy texture.
  • The bagels are not as smooth and puffy as regular bagels. Try to smooth out the surface as much as you can before putting them in the oven. Also these bagels are smaller than your standard bagels. They will only rise a little and be about the size of a donut.
  • *Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links. Much like referral codes, this means I earn a small commission if you purchase a product I referred (at no extra charge to you).
  • Nutrition estimate does not include the everything bagel seasoning.
Nutrition Facts
Cauliflower Bagels
Amount Per Serving (1 bagel)
Calories 231 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 20%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 129mg 43%
Sodium 331mg 14%
Potassium 563mg 16%
Total Carbohydrates 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 2g
Protein 17g 34%
Vitamin A 7.7%
Vitamin C 62.3%
Calcium 39.7%
Iron 8.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have. All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.
Cauliflower Bagels. Crusty, chewy bagels made with cauliflower! These taste like cheesy bagels and they are also low carb, keto, gluten free and wheat flour free.

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