Crab Cakes

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Crab Cakes are an easy and healthy main course or appetizer with minimal breading and mayonnaise, made with both jumbo lump and canned crab meat.

If you’re a seafood addict and you’ve already tried my recipes for Crispy Baked ScallopsEasy Shrimp Boil and Beer Battered Fish Tacos, you definitely need to try these crab cakes. They’re tasty, easy and look really impressive.

Crab Cakes


This is a delicious, easy to make crab cakes recipe that looks and tastes gourmet but you don’t have to spend all day making it.

The fresh crab, mayonnaise and parsley combined and baked to a delicious golden brown make for a delicious dinner that you can serve up for a romantic evening or as an appetizer the night time you and your friends get together (although you may have to make a double batch because everyone will want seconds).

I cut back on the costs associated with making the crab cakes (but keep them fresh with jumbo lump crab meat) by adding 1/3 lump crab meat and 2/3 canned crab meat. This also helps the crab cakes stick together because the canned crab meat isn’t lump meat, it is shreds, which can form into cakes easier. If you use all jumbo lump crab meat you will have a bit of a harder time forming the cakes.

Try serving them up with a large bowl of homemade Tartar Sauce.


  • Combine the crab, panko and dressing mixture gently.
  • Shape the batter into patties and set them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Add half the butter to the large skillet and add the crab cakes to the skillet on medium heat, cooking for 5-7 minutes.
  • Flip the crab cakes with a flat spatula gently, add the remaining butter and cook for an additional five minutes.

Crab Cake on plate with lemon

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Flavor Variations

  • Spice blends: try using a pinch of Old Bay seasoning to give your crab cakes a more authentic Maryland taste, or use some Italian seasoning to mix it up a little.
  • Lemon juice: for a delicious tang, sprinkle a little fresh lemon juice over the top of the crab cakes.
  • Worcestershire sauce: if you want a dash of a very powerful flavor to cut the fishy taste, add a few drops of Worcestershire sauce into the crab mixture before baking.
  • Dijon mustard: for a more moist crab cake you can use French or dijon mustard instead of dry ground mustard. The flavor is fairly similar to the original but the texture will be different.
  • Red pepper: if the hot sauce just doesn’t have enough of a kick for you, you can stir pepper into the batter or sprinkle red pepper flakes on top for a crunchy, spicy taste.
  • Crackers: if you don’t want to use bread crumbs you can crush crackers in a food processor until they are fine crumbs and use those instead. For the best flavor, I would suggest using ritz or saltine crackers.
  • Green onions: you can chop these up and sprinkle them over the top raw or sauté them on high heat in a large skillet with some butter to eat as a delicious garnish.

What to serve with Crab Cakes:


While no one really knows who the genius who invented crab cakes was and there are similar dishes all around the world, most people agree that the modern dish that we all know and love comes from the American Chesapeake Bay area. Many areas of the bay have made a name for themselves with their seafood industry, which is why Maryland has a long tradition of making crab cakes.

In 1930, a chef named Crosby Gaige wrote “The New York World’s Fair Cookbook,” where he introduced the first written recipe for crab cakes. Thanks to this recipe, crab became incredibly popular and later, thanks to refrigerators, people across the globe began to come up with their own recipes (although New England still claims to have the best crab cakes in the world). I’m team Maryland crab cakes, having tried crab cakes all over the country.

How to Store Crab Cakes:

  • Serve: you should never leave seafood out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours unless you really like bacteria.
  • Store: once you’ve finished eating and you’ve got leftovers you should refrigerate them as soon as they are cool to the touch. In an airtight container, your crab cakes will be good for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: you can keep homemade crab cakes frozen for up to 2 months before they are no longer safe to eat.

Safe Cooking Temperatures for Crab:

According to the USDA’s official website, seafood is cooked through and safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F (62.7 degrees C).

Crab is already cooked when sold as lump crab meat or tinned crab meat, so you shouldn’t have any issues when cooking these crab cakes.

Crab Cake

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Crab Cakes

5 from 6 votes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Course: Appetizer, Main Course
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Crab Cakes are an easy and healthy main course or appetizer with minimal breading and mayonnaise, made with both jumbo lump and canned crab meat.


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat
  • 6 ounces crabmeat
  • 1 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Mix together crabmeat, bread crumbs, parsley, salt and pepper.
  2. Beat together egg, mayonnaise, hot sauce and mustard. Combine with other ingredients and mix well.
  3. Form into patties and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Add half the butter to the large skillet and add the crab cakes to the skillet on medium heat, cooking for 5-7 minutes.

  5. Flip the crab cakes with a flat spatula gently, add the remaining butter and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4 servings, Amount per serving: 235 calories, Calories: 235g, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 114mg, Sodium: 1276mg, Potassium: 218mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 425g, Vitamin C: 6.9g, Calcium: 60g, Iron: 0.9g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: crab cakes

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  1. Tried to print this recipe pages 9 and 10 Only black and white. Was very careful to fill all the fields correctly. Ended up printing 20 some pages even though 9,10 for the recipe above were selected Only.
    Not the way it should work.
    So many times have printed recipes Found on the yummy site and not a problem.

  2. Oh my goodness I ended up saving all of your fish recipes your shrimp recipes your crab cakes they all look phenomenal if you have more maybe pork or beef how do I go about finding that

    1. Aw, that makes my day! Thanks for enjoying my recipes!

      Right now the best way is to put “pork” or “beef” in the search bar. Stay tuned though, we are working hard to make it easier to find categories like beef or pork on our site. Thank you for the feedback!

  3. What an awesome recipe. I love the storage tips because I have always wondered how long do they actually stay fresh. Thanks for sharing them!

  4. These crab cakes are scrumptious. I love that the recipe calls for a combo of fresh and canned crab. A bit easier on the budget and just as tasty!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. My husband is from Maryland and is a crab cake snob… I will definitely be adding old bay per your suggestion… I do have a question, you mention hot sauce twice, but it is missing from the ingredient list… please share the amount you suggest… I am guessing, based on where in the recipe it was mentioned (between the mayo and the mustard) that the amount is less than a Tablespoon but more than a half teaspoon. Thank you again!

    1. Sorry about that. I’ved edited to read correctly now. You can definitely adjust the hot sauce level to your liking too.

  6. This recipe sounds amazing, but I was just wondering if I could bake the crab cakes
    instead of frying them?

    1. Thanks! Yes, you can bake them though they won’t have the same crispiness as frying. Just place the crab cakes on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

  7. I read and re read your recipe for crab cakes, and could not find hot sauce as one of the
    Ingredients. If you are referring mustard as the hot sauce, then I apologize.

    1. No, I apologize. Clearly I needed another cup of coffee before hitting post. It should include 1/2 teaspoon of hot sauce. I’ve edited it to read correctly now. Fingers crossed.

  8. You mentioned hot sauce in the instructions but I don’t see it listed in the ingredients. How much hot sauce did you use ?