Crab Cakes

4 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

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

If you’re a seafood addict and you’ve already tried our 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 on plate with lemon wedge

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 pan fried to a delicious golden brown make for a delicious dinner that you can serve up for a romantic evening or as an appetizer the next time you and your friends get together (although you may have to make a double batch because everyone will want seconds).

You’ll cut back on the costs associated with making the crab cakes (but keep them fresh with jumbo lump crab meat) by adding ⅓ 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, and a side of French Fries.

How to Make Crab Cakes

  • 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 Cakes collage of mixing steps

Frequently Asked Questions

What spices and seasonings can I use in Crab Cakes?

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. 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.

What other flavors can be added to Crab Cakes?

For a delicious tang, sprinkle a little fresh lemon juice over the top of the crab cakes. 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. 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.

What can I substitute for bread crumbs in Crab Cakes?

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.

How can I garnish Crab Cakes?

Green onions are a wonderful addition to Crab Cakes. 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 temperature do I need to cook Crab Cakes to?

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.

What to serve with Crab Cakes:

History of 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).

How to Store Crab Cakes

  • Serve: You should never leave seafood out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours or they may grow 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.
Crab Cakes on plate with lemon wedge, tartar sauce, and french fries

Pin this recipe now to remember it later

Pin Recipe

Crab Cakes

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


  • 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
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard


  • Mix together crabmeat, bread crumbs, parsley, salt and pepper.
  • Beat together egg, mayonnaise, hot sauce and mustard. Combine with other ingredients and mix well.
  • Form into patties and place on a 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 5 minutes.



Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 1276mg | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 425IU | Vitamin C: 6.9mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 0.9mg
Keyword: crab cakes
Crab Cakes Collage

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Crab Cake on plate with lemon

Crab Cake

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


Leave a comment & rating

Have you checked the FAQ section above to see if your question has already been answered? View previous questions.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. These are always a must when we go out, but now it’s even better, since we can make them at home & they taste better!! Crisp, but soft & delicious!!

  2. I made these crab cakes over the weekend and my family loved them! So easy to make, definitely will be making these again!

  3. I just found a new favorite! These crab sticks are so yummy and perfect for my homemade mayo. My fam loves them. We’ll surely add this recipe to our menu, thanks Sabrina!

  4. My first time making these crab cakes, never thought they were easy to make. Even my picky kids love them. So yummy!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I can not wait to make this crab cake recipe. I will let you know what they think.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. In the instructions it says to add hot sauce but there isn’t hot sauce listed in the ingredients

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

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

    1. Sorry about that. It should include 1/2 teaspoon of hot sauce but you can adjust to your liking. Enjoy!