This delicious Maryland Crab Cake recipe is full of succulent crab and tasty seasonings! It makes the perfect appetizer or main dish for a special dinner! Ready in under 30 minutes!
My recipe was shared with me many years ago by my husband’s late uncle, Tom, who lived on the Chesapeake Bay and knew how to make a great crab cake. This crab cake recipe is just exactly how I like them – full of lump crab meat with some savory seasonings and a little something to hold it all together. Serve plain or with your favorite remoulade, hollandaise, or cocktail sauce for a special dinner everyone will love.
Crab cakes can seem a bit intimidating to make, but they are actually very simple. With this delicious recipe, a gentle hand when mixing, and a little time to rest in the refrigerator, they turn out to be the best crab cakes!
Why You’ll Love These Crab Cakes
Delicious Maryland Crab Cakes – A tasty, authentic recipe full of crab meat, seasonings, and very little binder. You definitely get tasty lumps of crab in every bite with this recipe!
Easy to make – You just mix a few ingredients with succulent crab and then saute in butter.
Ready in minutes – Have these ready to serve as appetizers or a nice dinner in less than 30 minutes, including prep time!
Table of Contents
How to Make Crab Cakes
These crab cakes are easy to make with simple ingredients, allowing the crab meat to be the star of this dish. Here’s how they are made.
Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.
- mayonnaise – Use your favorite mayonnaise. It, along with the egg and Dijon mustard, acts as a seasoning and helps to bind the crab cakes.
- egg – I prefer a room-temperature egg as it combines more easily with the mayonnaise.
- Dijon mustard – You’ll only need a little Dijon mustard, but it adds flavor as well as additional moisture to the mixture.
- Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay Seasoning, and hot sauce – Classic Maryland Crab Cakes include Old Bay Seasoning. Since I am allergic to it, I do not include it in my recipe. If used, you can omit the hot sauce.
- lump crab meat – If you live in an area where fresh crab meat is available, then certainly use it. While it can be a bit pricey, you only need one pound for this recipe. For the rest of us, refrigerated lump crab meat is usually sold in the seafood section of the grocery store. I avoid shelf-stable canned crab meat due to the additives it contains.
- saltines or bread crumbs– They should be crushed. This is just enough to bind the crab cakes together.
- butter – The butter is used to saute the crab cakes. It gives a delicious buttery flavor, beautiful color, and a slightly crisp exterior. You can use salted or unsalted butter based on your preference.
Mix Seasoning Ingredients
Add the mayonnaise, egg, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce into a bowl and mix well until blended.
Gently Fold in Crab Meat
Drain your lump crab meat and add it to your bowl. Gently fold into your mayonnaise mixture. You’ve paid all that money for lump crab meat, so go gentle here. You don’t want to turn your precious lump into bits.
Fold in Crushed Saltines
Now, gently fold crushed saltines into your crab mixture. Be Gentle. Allow to stand a few minutes before moving on to the next step. This allows everything to combine well and hold a shape better in just a bit.
Gently Shape into Cakes
Shape the mixture very gently into about 8 cakes. Place on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Cover and chill for 1 hour up to overnight. I tend to shape mine the evening before I plan on serving. The time in the fridge helps the flavors meld together for an even more delicious taste.
Saute Crab Cakes
In a large skillet, saute the crab cakes in butter for about 3 minutes on each side. Flip only once and then remove to a platter lined with paper towels to drain.
Serve and Enjoy
Plate the warm crab cakes immediately and serve. You can serve plain with lemon wedges or with your favorite sauce, such as a hollandaise sauce, cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, or your favorite remoulade. These are delicious served alongside a salad or vegetable for a light meal.
Tips for the Best Crab Cakes
- Use lump crab meat – as fresh as you can find, but I do not recommend shelf-stable canned crab meat.
- Be gentle and work slowly when handling the crab cakes so you do not break the lumps of crab meat.
- Make them ahead – The crab cakes have the best flavor when made ahead and chilled in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but even better if chilled overnight before cooking them.
- Serve them immediately – Drain them immediately after cooking, then serve them immediately for the best taste!
More Favorite Seafood Recipes
Here’s our decadent Maryland-style Crab Cake recipe. I hope you love it like we do!
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, optional
- 1 pound lump crab meat, drained
- 20 saltine crackers, crushed or 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Mix together first five ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Fold in crab meat and saltines or bread crumbs.
- Shape into patties.
- Place on a waxed paper lined baking sheet.
- Cover and chill for one hour to overnight.
- Saute in 3 tablespoons of butter in a large nonstick skillet, cooking for approximately 3 minutes on each side.
- Remove to a paper towel lined platter to drain.
- Plate and serve immediately with remoulade sauce.
- If using Old Bay Seasoning, you can omit the hot sauce.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.