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Crispy baked chicken wings are possible. Discover the one secret ingredient for crunchy chicken wings, then toss them in a sweet and tangy soda-based sauce for a game-day snack idea that will have everyone cheering (and asking for the recipe).

Coca Cola chicken wings on a white platter.

Why should Buffalo wings get all the glory? If you lean more sweet and tangy than over-the-top spicy, this is the chicken wing recipe for you.

There’s no need to fuss with deep-frying, and you don’t even need an air fryer to crisp up these lighter baked chicken wings! The secret? Baking powder. Since this pantry staple falls on the alkaline end of the acid spectrum, it helps break down peptide bonds in the chicken wing skin. The result is a brown, crunchy exterior on the baked chicken wings, even without added oil.

Kids and kids at heart will adore the sweetness that the Coca Cola lends to the glaze, which is balanced beautifully by umami and salt sources like soy sauce and bacon. A good does of garlic and onion make the wings downright dangerous(ly addictive).

For any day or game-day, you’ll win the hosting trophy if you add these Coca Cola Chicken Wings to the menu.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Coca Cola Chicken Wings Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for Coca Cola chicken wings.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Chicken wings: Flats and wings; wing tips removed. Most supermarkets sell chicken wings with the tips already removed, so you may not even need to ask. But if they’re still on the chicken wings you are planning to purchase, ask your butcher to tackle the task for you or use a chef’s knife to trim this portion off before proceeding with the chicken wing recipe.
  • Baking powder: Toss very dry chicken wing meat with this baking staple for supremely crunchy baked chicken wings, no deep-frying or extra oil required.
  • Coca-Cola: Classic, not Diet or Zero, please. The sugar is crucial for the best flavor and the glaze consistency.
  • Cornstarch: This helps give the soda glaze a rich, syrup-like texture.

Step-by-step instructions

To make the wings:

  1. Arrange two oven racks in the upper middle and lower middle positions. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top. Coat rack with nonstick spray. Pat wings dry with paper towels. In a large zipper-top plastic bag, add baking powder and wings and toss to coat.
Raw wings on a baking rack over an aluminum foil lined baking sheet.
  1. Arrange coated wings skin-side up on rack. Transfer baking sheet to lower-middle oven rack and bake for 30 minutes.
Raw wings on a baking rack over an aluminum foil lined baking sheet.
  1. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Transfer baking sheet to upper middle rack and bake until the wings are golden and crispy, about 45 to 50 minutes longer.
Baked Coca Cola chicken wings on a baking rack over an aluminum foil lined baking sheet.

To make the Coca Cola glaze:

  1. In a 3-quart saucepan or deep skillet, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add bacon and onions and fry until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes.
Onion, garlic and bacon being cooked in a silver skillet.
  1. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in Coca Cola, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in brown sugar and soy sauce. Transfer 2 tablespoons Coca Cola glaze to a small bowl and whisk in cornstarch until smooth.
Coca cola being poured into a silver skillet.
  1. Add back to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened and reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
Coca Cola chicken wings sauce being cooked in a skillet.
  1. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pushing down on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.
Coca Cola chicken wing sauce being strained.
  1. Keep warm on stove until wings have finished baking. Toss the baked wings with Coca Cola glaze.
Coca Cola chicken wings being tossed in sauce.
  1. Garnish with scallions and serve with extra Coca Cola glaze.
Coca Cola chicken wings on a white platter.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: My Coca Cola Chicken Wings recipe makes approximately 32 wings (this will vary based on the size of your individual chicken wings and how many come per pound); enough for 4 entree-sized servings of 8 wings each or 8 appetizer-sized servings of 4 wings each.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: The Coca Cola glaze can be made and refrigerated a day in advance. Reheat on the stove before tossing with the wings.
A Coca-Cola chicken wing being dipped in sauce.

Recipe FAQs

Should I wash the raw chicken wings?

No need. In fact, it can be a food safety risk if you do. The CDC recommends that you never wash chicken, as doing so can spray raw chicken juices onto your sink and any adjacent surfaces. There’s no need to wash any kind of poultry before cooking.

Why do you suggest using paper towels to pat the wings dry then?

The chicken wings will have a little residual moisture from the packaging. Patting the chicken wings dry with paper towels allows the baking powder to adhere evenly, and also leads to the crispiest, crunchiest baked wings.

Do I need the wire rack or can I bake the chicken wings directly on the sheet pan?

A wire rack stacked on top of a sheet pan lets air circulate around all sides of the baked chicken wings. I highly recommend investing in one (Amazon sells wire racks for less than $10), but if you don’t want to do so and don’t own a rack already, simply use tongs to flip the wings halfway through cooking time so they cook and crisp on both sides.

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Coca Cola chicken wings on a white platter.

Coca Cola Chicken Wings

Crispy baked chicken wings are possible. Discover the one secret ingredient for crunchy chicken wings, then toss them in a sweet and tangy soda-based sauce for a game-day snack idea that will have everyone cheering (and asking for the recipe).
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Servings 4 servings (8 wings each)
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Calories 698

Ingredients 

For the wings:

  • 4 pounds chicken wings flats and wingtips removed (see note 1)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder (see note 2)

For the Coca Cola glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 slices bacon
  • ½ red onion sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 (12 ounce) can Coca-Cola (see note 3)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (see note 4)
  • Scallions thinly sliced, for garnish

Instructions 

To make the wings:

  • Arrange two oven racks in the upper middle and lower middle positions. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top. Coat rack with nonstick spray.
  • Pat wings dry with paper towels. In a large zipper-top plastic bag, add baking powder and wings and toss to coat.
  • Arrange coated wings skin-side up on rack. Transfer baking sheet to lower-middle oven rack and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Transfer baking sheet to upper middle rack and bake until the wings are golden and crispy, about 45 to 50 minutes longer.

To make the Coca Cola glaze:

  • In a 3-quart saucepan or deep skillet, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add bacon and onions and fry until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in Coca Cola, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Stir in brown sugar and soy sauce. Transfer 2 tablespoons Coca Cola glaze to a small bowl and whisk in cornstarch until smooth.
  • Add back to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened and reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
  • Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pushing down on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Keep warm on stove until wings have finished baking. Toss the baked wings with Coca Cola glaze and serve.

Notes

  1. Chicken wings: Flats and wings; wing tips removed. Most supermarkets sell chicken wings with the tips already removed, so you may not even need to ask. But if they’re still on the chicken wings you are planning to purchase, ask your butcher to tackle the task for you or use a chef’s knife to trim this portion off before proceeding with the chicken wing recipe.
  2. Baking powder: Toss very dry chicken wing meat with this baking staple for supremely crunchy baked chicken wings, no deep-frying or extra oil required.
  3. Coca-Cola: Classic, not Diet or Zero, please. The sugar is crucial for the best flavor and the glaze consistency.
  4. Cornstarch: This helps give the soda glaze a rich, syrup-like texture.
  5. Yield: My Coca Cola Chicken Wings recipe makes approximately 32 wings (this will vary based on the size of your individual chicken wings and how many come per pound); enough for 4 entree-sized servings of 8 wings each or 8 appetizer-sized servings of 4 wings each.
  6. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  7. Make ahead: The Coca Cola glaze can be made and refrigerated a day in advance. Reheat on the stove before tossing with the wings.

Nutrition

Serving: 8wingsCalories: 698kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 36gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 1358mgPotassium: 426mgFiber: 1gSugar: 54gVitamin A: 272IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 429mgIron: 3mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. I. Recently used this recipe for a litthe party and everyone loved them. The flavor was a lot better then I expected and I look forward to trying other things from this site. Amazing job.

    1. Well that’s awesome, thank you Justin! I hope you find something else around here that you might like. :) Have a great week!

  2. Mmmmmm…..yum. This looks totally amazing. I’m just starring at the screen looking at how delicious they look.5 stars

  3. Wow, really, I can’t get over that delicious taste! So simple and yet – sooo great. Thank you for this recipe – it’s a real keeper5 stars

  4. This looks and sounds fantastic, like everything you make! I will be trying this out for a dinner this week. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Nagi changed my chicken wing cooking life too. Your recipe is correct, it says baking powder, but your write up above it says baking soda.

    1. Thank you!!!! Typos. Oy. I’ll go fix it right now, I appreciate you pointing that out.

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