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.

Lump crab meat shows in a bite of a crab cake served with a salad and a drizzle of sauce.

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!

Plate with two crab cakes on a salad.

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.

Ingredients for crab cakes: lump crab, butter, hot sauce, mustard, mayo, Worcestershire sauce and saltines in bowls.

Ingredients

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.

Step-by-Step Instructions

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.

Bowl of mixed mayo ingredients and lump crab.

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.

Baking sheet with wax paper holds 8 formed crab cake patties.

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.

Paper towel holds some golden brown crab cakes 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.

Two golden crab cakes on top of lettuces and drizzled with sauce.

For a large seafood dinner, you can add some boiled shrimp along with coleslaw and hush puppies. Yum!

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

Shrimp Creole

Baked Salmon with Parmesan Crust

Oyster Stew

Seared Scallops

Gumbo

Here’s our decadent Maryland-style Crab Cake recipe. I hope you love it like we do!

Crab Cakes

5 from 2 votes
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!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  • If using Old Bay Seasoning, you can omit the hot sauce. 

Nutrition

Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 704mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 177IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

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Recipe Review




12 Comments

  1. i’m curious how much you can taste the mayo? i’m not a huge fan of mayo – would there be a good sub for it?

    these look AMAZING though πŸ™‚

  2. I have never actually had a crab cake. Living in MO I’ve never seen one that looks appetizing to eat though I love crab. This looks like a great place to start!

  3. Ooh, I’m so excited about this recipe and see that Publix sells lump crab meat. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing this. Did you make it in a nonstick skillet or a cast iron skillet? The picture looks like a cast iron one to me. πŸ™‚

    1. You are right, Julie. I did use a cast iron skillet. You can use either a nonstick or a well-seasoned cast iron.

  4. I’m going to have to hide this recipe from my mom; she LOVES crab cakes I’d be making these once a week! πŸ™‚