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    Homemade Maryland Crab Cakes Recipe

    Published March 26, 2021. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This delicious classic recipe for homemade Maryland-style crab cakes is the perfect appetizer to serve up to your guests.

    I am a seafood lover like no other.  I want to eat it every single day, especially if I’m on vacation somewhere near an ocean.  If you want to try a few new seafood recipes then definitely make my Gravlax Recipe or Grilled Scallops.

    crab cakes on a plate with a mustard sauce

    Crab Cakes

    Crab cakes are a combination of lump crab mixed with spices, eggs, mayonnaise, and breadcrumbs that are then formed into balls and deep fried.  They are most often served as an appetizer, and you’ll even see them as a sandwich.

    Crab cake’s origin can be found in native American cuisine from the Chesapeake region where they cooked and processed the crabs from the shells in the exact same way we do today.  People in the 20th century that lived in Maryland and Virginia started to add other ingredients to the crab and cooked it to form the crab cake we know of in the modern-day.

    The typical ingredients for crab cakes include:

    • Lump Crab – Jumbo lump crab meat is the best to use, and at least a medium-grade quality.
    • Breadcrumbs – You can use regular breadcrumbs or processed saltine or buttered crackers.
    • Spices – Old bay is the classic spice to use in crab cakes, but any seafood boil spice blend will do.
    • Eggs – This is used as a binder as well as fat to flavor the recipe.
    • Mayonnaise – A full-fat mayonnaise is best to use.

    How to Make It

    Follow along with these easy to prepare instructions with images to make this amazing crab cakes recipe:

    In a large bowl gently combine together all of the ingredients until they are thoroughly mixed together.

    mixing together ingredients to make crab cakes

    Next, form the crab cakes into balls and then gently press them down.

    forming crab cakes into patties

    Coat the crab cakes on each side with leftover buttered crackers and set them aside.

    coating crab cakes in extra breading

    Fry the crab cakes in oil for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through.

    frying crab cakes in oil in a pan

    Serve by itself or with your favorite crab cake sauce.

    mustard sauce being served with crab cakes

    Crab Cake Sauce

    There are several different sauces that you may see when crab cakes are served.  Here are the most popular ones:

    • Mustard Sauce – A creamy-based sauce with mustard.
    • Remoulade – Cajun-spiced creamy sauce.
    • Tartar Sauce – A mayonnaise-based sauce with pickles and onions.
    • Cocktail Sauce – A simple combination of ketchup and horseradish.

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: Crab cakes are meant to be eaten as soon as they are cooked.  If you have to you can make them up to 1 hour ahead of time and keep them warm in the oven on a sheet tray with a rack at 225°.

    How to Reheat: Place the crab cake in a pan and place them in the oven at 350° for 3-4 minutes or until hot.  You can also heat in the microwave until hot.

    How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Cover and freeze for up to 2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    chef notes + tips

    • To keep the crab cake from falling apart it is imperative there is enough mayonnaise and an egg that is thoroughly mixed in.  It is also important to compact the crab cake well with your hands when forming them.
    • Crab cakes are most often eaten with a sauce or with greens.
    • The flavor is better if you fry the crab cakes, but you can bake them on a cookie sheet tray lined with parchment paper at 375° F for 13-18 minutes.
    3 fried crab cakes on a plate with sauce

    More Seafood Recipes

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Homemade Maryland Crab Cakes Recipe

    5 from 3 votes
    This delicious classic recipe for homemade Maryland-style crab cakes is the perfect appetizer to serve up to your guests.
    Servings: 6
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 8 minutes

    Ingredients 

    For the Crab Cakes:

    • 1 pound jumbo lump crab
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 ½ teaspoons old bay seasoning
    • 1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon finely minced parsley
    • 1 cup buttered cracker breadcrumbs
    • ¼ cup oil

    For the Optional Sauce:

    • 1 cup bechamel sauce
    • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
    • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard

    Instructions

    • Crab Cakes: Gently combine the crab, egg, old bay, Worcestershire, mayonnaise, Dijon, and 2/3 cup cracker crumbs until thoroughly mixed.
    • Form the mixture into 6 crab cakes by rolling into tight balls and gently pressing down to flatten.
    • Coat each crab cake in the remaining 1/3 cup of unused cracker crumbs and then place them on a plate or a cookie sheet tray lined with parchment paper.
    • Pour the oil into a large frying pan over medium heat.
    • Once the oil is hot, add in the crab cakes and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through.
    • Set aside to drain on a rack or paper towels.
    • For the Sauce: Heat the bechamel in a sauté pan until hot and whisk in the mustards until combined.
    • Serve the sauce alongside the cooked crab cakes and garnish the crab cakes optionally with chopped parsley.

    Notes

    Chef Notes:
    • Make-Ahead: Crab cakes are meant to be eaten as soon as they are cooked. If you have to you can make them up to 1 hour ahead of time and keep them warm in the oven on a sheet tray with a rack at 225°.
     
    • How to Reheat: Place the crab cake in a pan and place them in the oven at 350° for 3-4 minutes or until hot. You can also heat in the microwave until hot.
     
    • How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Cover and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
     
    • To keep the crab cake from falling apart it is imperative there is enough mayonnaise and an egg that is thoroughly mixed in. It is also important to compact the crab cake well with your hands when forming them.
     
    • Crab cakes are most often eaten with a sauce or with greens.
     
    • The flavor is better if you fry the crab cakes, but you can bake them on a cookie sheet tray lined with parchment paper at 375° F for 13-18 minutes.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 392kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 19gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 133mgSodium: 870mgPotassium: 270mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 123IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 117mgIron: 2mg
    Course: Appetizer
    Cuisine: American