How can I make simple crab cakes

Maryland Crab Cakes Recipe (Small Filling)

These Maryland Crab Cakes are loved by locals and out-of-towers alike.This classic crab cake recipe combines the flavors of lemon, parsley, and Old Bay seasoning, but most of the flavor comes from the crab meat itself.For the best consistency, use clumps of crab meat and some filler, and bake the cakes in a very hot oven.

I debated posting our favorite crab cakes recipe on my blog because I was nervous that not enough crab lovers were reading this! But after asking readers on Instagram if they'd like the recipe, the answer was a resounding YES.

Here we go!

I've lived in Maryland for half of my life and I've said with 100% honesty that crab cakes are just as important as the air this state breathes. My husband was born and raised here and has crab food as a science. Crabs are not just food, they are a way of life. I've served these special crab cakes to both locals and foreigners who all rave about the recipe. I am really proud I look forward to it huge to share these Maryland Crab Cakes with you!

How to Make Maryland Crab Cakes

Crab cakes are great as a main course or as a sandwich on a toasted bun. When they are shaped smaller, mini crab cakes are fantastic finger foods. With this recipe, you can be sure that you will ALWAYS have a quick dinner recipe in your back pocket, as well as an impressive humane starter. They make great leftovers too!

  1. Whisk the aromas and binders together.
  2. Add the crab meat and filler.
  3. Mix very carefully: Slowly and carefully fold the ingredients together. If mixed over, the piece of crab meat will break apart.
  4. Store in the refrigerator for 30 minutes: This is an important step in the recipe! Make sure the crab cake mixture is cold before shaping it into individual cakes. There is little filler in this recipe, so the cakes will crumble if the mixture is not refrigerated before cooking.
  5. Grease the baking pan and preheat the oven. The oven gets pretty hot so I don't recommend using parchment paper. Grease the pan or use a silicone baking mat.
  6. Portion in cake: Use half a cup measuring cup to scoop and portion the mixture. Shape into individual cakes. Place on the greased baking sheet.
  7. To bake: Bake the cakes over very high heat for about 12-14 minutes.

Baking vs. Sautéing on Stove: Some cook crab cakes on the stove, but I prefer the baking method. When crab cakes are cooked on the stove, they are often flattened into patties to allow the center to cook. For thick crab cakes, I recommend baking them at a high oven temperature. They cook very quickly and stay extra plump.

Video Tutorial: Maryland Crab Cakes

Types of crab meat

  1. Jumbo Lumps: Jumbo lump crab meat is off-white and comes from the crab's swimmer fin muscles. Crabs only have 2 of these muscles, so you will need a ton of crab to make a serving of jumbo crab meat. Because of this, it is the most expensive type. It is very robust and is wonderful to serve alone or as a topping for dishes or salads.
  2. Lump: Lump crab meat is also off-white, but slightly smaller than jumbo lumps. It's still very robust and tasty. It comes from the body of a crab and is ideal for crab cakes.
  3. Backfin: Backfin crab meat, also called flake crab meat, is also cream-colored. It also comes from the body of a crab. The term “backfin” can also include the broken pieces of crab meat. It's more flaky than large lumps of crab meat.
  4. Claw meat: Claw meat is darker than the other types of crab meat. It's not that sweet, but it has a stronger flavor. Hoof meat is the cheapest and ideal for soups, dips, and stews.

Best crab meat for crab cakes

Maryland's famous blue crabs live in Chesapeake Bay. Opinions on what the best type of crab are vary and usually depend on where you live. Maryland crabs are known for their unique buttery flavor, and West Coast Dungeness crabs are known for their impressive size. If you're not steaming your own crabs for crab meat, let me help you figure out which crab meat is best for crab cakes.

Whichever type of crab you use, be sure to get crab meat labeled "Handpicked" or "Freshly picked" to buy. This means that the crab meat was picked for clams and cartilage. (Even so, it is advisable to run your hands carefully through the meat to find any hard remains of cartilage.)

Crab meat that was sold out of the shell has been cooked and is ready to be consumed. Raw crab meat sold out of the shell is very rare - it is almost always cooked before being removed from the shell. You can find canned, frozen or fresh (chilled) crab meat in the market. Unrefrigerated canned crab meat does not taste ideal for crab cakes. If you need to use canned meat, look for canned crab meat in the refrigerator section of your market. The fresher the crab meat, the better the crab cake tastes. Ask your grocer where to find the freshest crab meat in the store. I buy fresh crab meat, which I sell in a 1 pound plastic tub, from the seafood counter in my grocery store. Sometimes the tubs are behind the glass or on ice next to the seafood counter.

For the absolute best crab cakes, I recommend using Lump of crab meat or a mixture of crab meat and BackFin meat. Lump crab meat guarantees those big tasty crab bites. Don't worry, all of the other ingredients are pretty cheap.

Ingredients in Maryland Crab Cakes

Let's go through each ingredient so you understand what they mean. While there are a few flavorful and binding ingredients, the real star of this crab cake is the crab itself. These flavors and binders simply enhance the true flavor of crab.

  1. Egg: Egg is the main binder in crab cakes.
  2. Mayonnaise: Mayonnaise is another binding ingredient. I don't like mayonnaise and I LOVE these crab cakes. So if you're not a mayo person, don't worry. You can't taste it.
  3. Fresh parsley: Fresh herbs are a MUST have in crab cakes. Sometimes recipes or restaurants use dill, but the most common is fresh parsley. If necessary, you can use dried parsley.
  4. Dijon mustard: Dijon mustard is another must-have in crab cakes. I don't recommend any other type of mustard - just Dijon.
  5. Worcestershire Sauce: This gives so much flavor. You don't need a lot - just 2 teaspoons.
  6. Old Bay Seasoning: What's Crab Without Old Bay Seasoning ???
  7. Lemon Juice & Salt: Fresh, balancing aromas.
  8. Crab meat: The main role in the entire recipe.
  9. Cracker Crumbs: Roll the drum please ... the filler in this crab cake recipe is cracker crumbs. There is so much discussion about what the best filler is and trust me, some of the best crab cakes are made with CRACKERS! More on this below.

Since we are baking the crab cakes and not frying them in butter or oil, brush the cakes with a little melted butter before baking. This tiny addition gives them that unmistakable restaurant taste. When they come out of the oven, squeeze a little lemon juice on them!

Crab Cake Filler

While we have binding ingredients like mayonnaise and egg, crab cakes need a filler to keep them intact when cooked. And here are the people very empathetic: what is the best filler? I've tested many, and even asked, popular restaurants to spill the beans - most of them don't know exactly what ingredients they use for crab cakes! My # 1 crab cake filler choice is cracker crumbs, specifically saltine cracker crumbs. Bread crumbs are tasteless and too crispy. Make your way to the Saltines! To make the crumb, you can place the crackers in a zipper-top pocket and shred the heck out of them with a rolling pin, or you can use a little ninja, a large food processor, or even a blender.

What to serve with crab cakes

Just hold and serve with a pinch of lemon. These Maryland Crab Cakes are so juicy and flavourful that they don't need tartar sauce or cocktail sauce, but both are popular top-ups. (I love a hint of cocktail sauce on me!) If you're making crab cakes for a large family dinner, I recommend the following for your crab cakes dinner:

  • Corn bread and / or corn on the cob
  • Caesar salad
  • Baked potatoes or fried potatoes
  • steamed vegetables
  • Dinner rolls
  • coleslaw



For the best consistency, use clumps of crab meat and some filler, and bake the cakes in a very hot oven.Serve with lemon wedges, chopped parsley and / or cocktail sauce or tartar sauce.For more success tips and information on which crab meat to use, see the blog post above.


  • large egg1 large egg
  • (60g) mayonnaise1/4 cup (60 g) mayonnaise
  • chopped fresh parsley (or 2 teaspoon s dried) 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • s dijon mustard2 teaspoonsDijon mustard
  • s worcestershire sauce2 Tea spoonsWorcestershire Sauce
  • Old Bay seasoning(up to 1 and 1/2 teaspoon s for a spicier kick)1 teaspoonOld Bay spice(up to 1 1/2 teaspoons for a spicier kick)
  • fresh lemon juice, plus more for serving 1 teaspoon fresher Lemon juice and more for serving
  • salt1/8 teaspoonsalt
  • pound fresh lump crab meat * 1 pound fresh lump crab meat *
  • Saltine cracker crumbs (about 14 crackers) 2/3 cupSaltine Cracker Crumbs (approx. 14 crackers)
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons (30 g) melted salted or unsalted butter


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, mayonnaise, parsley, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay, lemon juice and salt. Place the crab meat on top, followed by the cracker crumbs. Very carefully and carefully fold them up with a rubber spatula or large spoon. You don't want to break the crab meat!
  2. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.
  3. Preheat the oven to 232 ° C. Grease the baking sheet generously with butter or non-stick spray or line it with a silicone baking mat.
  4. Use half a cup of measuring cup to divide the crab cake mixture into 6 mounds on the baking sheet. (Don't flatten!) Compact each individual mound with your hands or a spoon so that no lumps stick out or fall apart. Brush with melted butter for more flavor. This is optional, but recommended!
  5. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges and on top. Drizzle each with fresh lemon juice and serve warm.
  6. Cover the crab cakes well and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


  1. Freezing Instructions : You can freeze the portioned, unbaked crab cakes for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, brush with melted butter and bake as directed. You can also freeze the baked and cooled crab cakes for up to 3 months. Thaw, then heat in a 177 ° C oven for 10-15 minutes or until completely warm. Or bake the frozen crab cakes for about 25 to 30 minutes at 177 ° C.
  2. Which crab meat to use: For questions about which crab meat, see Best Crab Meat for Crab Cakes in the blog post above. I can only recommend fresh (chilled) lump crab meat.
  3. Smaller sizes: For smaller crab cakes, divide the mixture into 12 1/4 cup servings. For mini crab cakes, divide into 24 2 tablespoon servings. Bake at the same oven temperature. The baking time is shorter with these smaller sizes. The crab cakes are ready when the tops and edges are lightly browned.

Keywords: Seafood, Maryland, Crabs