Best Maryland Crab Cakes

August 6, 2021

This best Maryland crab cakes recipe avoids using a lot of fillers to maintain crabs’ naturally sweet flavor and flaky texture, resulting in crab cakes that are juicy, soft, and crispy!

Crab cakes have been Maryland's signature dish for decades, and for a good reason. These luscious fish cakes are the perfect balance of sweet and salty, with just enough spice to make things interesting. And they are easy to make and don't need a lot of ingredients!

Crab CakesPhoto By Canva
Taste Score: %92
Difficulty Medium
Servings 6 people
Preparation 40 mins
Cooking 15 mins
Total 55 mins

Tips

  • Avoid over mixing the crab mixture to prevent the crab meat breaking apart.
  • It’s important to refrigerate the crab mixture before cooking, as the cold mixture keeps its shape better and doesn’t fall apart as easily.
  • Since the cakes are baked at such a high temperature, it is recommended to grease the pan or use a baking mat instead of parchment paper.
  • Brush the cakes in butter before baking for unbelievably flavorful restaurant-style crab cakes.
  • Use a ¼ measuring cup for 12 smaller crab cakes and a 2 tablespoon measuring spoon for mini crab cakes. Bake at 450°F until the top and edges turn light brown (shorter baking time than full-sized crab cakes).
  • These crab cakes are baked at high temperatures, so they cook through without being flattened. To cook these crab cakes on the stove, flatten them into patties to allow the center to cook.
  • Make saltine cracker crumbs by placing the crackers in a ziplock bag and crushing with a rolling pin. You can also use a blender.
  • If fresh parsley is not available, feel free to use dill or dried parsley instead.
  • Both the uncooked crab mixture and baked crab cakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. To consume, bake the frozen crab cakes at 350°F for 25-30 minutes and cook the frozen crab mix as directed after thawing and brushing with melted butter.
  • If you get any leftover crab cakes, refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Add egg, mayonnaise, parsley, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice, and salt to a large bowl. Whisk together and add crab meat and cracker crumbs. Fold carefully and gently with a rubber spatula or large spoon, and do not over mix.
  2. Cover the bowl tightly and let the mixture rest in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of one day.
  3. In the meantime, set your oven to 450°F and prepare a rimmed baking sheet by greasing with butter or nonstick spray or lining with a silicone baking mat.
  4. Use a half cup measuring cup to portion the crab cake mixture onto the baking sheet and compact with hands or a spoon.
  5. Once the cakes are compact and not falling apart, brush them with the melted butter and bake for 12 to 14 minutes until the edges and top are lightly browned. Enjoy these best Maryland crab cakes with a drizzle of lemon juice.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Crab Cakes
Serves 6
Amount Per Serving
Calories220
% Daily Value*
Protein 15.66 g31.3%
Total Fat 14.23 g18.2%
Cholesterol 99.96 mg33.3%
Sodium 694.98 mg30.2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

What Are Crab Cakes?

Crab cakes are fish cakes made of crab meat combined with fillers and seasoning. They can be sautéed, baked, grilled, or deep-fried and are very popular in the United States. Their roots stretch back to Native American cuisine from the Chesapeake region, and they were eventually adopted by the settlers and popularized throughout the country.

What Types of Crab Meat Can be Used?

Lump crab meat and jumbo lump crab meat are the best types of crab meat for American crab cakes, but you can also use back fin or claw meat for a less expensive option. You can buy the crab meat either frozen or refrigerated but go for the freshest one you can find. Also, make sure it has been 'hand-picked' or 'fresh-picked for shells and cartilage.

How to Cook Crab Cakes?

There are many ways to cook crab cakes, but frying and baking are the most popular. Aside from these traditional methods, crab cakes can also be air-fried. Just place crab cakes in the air fryer after coating with oil and cook for about 10 minutes at 370 °F.

How to Bake Crab Cakes?

To make baked crab cakes, set your oven to 450 °F and prepare a rimmed baking sheet by greasing it with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Use the measuring cup to portion the crab cake mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, and compact it with your hands or a spoon before brushing with melted butter and baking.

How Long to Bake Crab Cakes?

These jumbo sized crab cakes need to be baked for about 12 to 14 minutes at 450 °F until the edges and top are lightly browned to cook all the way through, but smaller sized cakes generally need to be baked for shorter periods. Mini crab cakes, for example, take less than ten minutes to cook all the way through on high heat.

What to Serve with Crab Cakes?

Crab cakes can be served with grilled vegetables, roasted corn, bread rolls, herbed potatoes, green salad, creamy avocados, chickpeas, gazpacho, corn chowder, or a popular crab cakes sauce like remoulade, tartar sauce, mango purée, and horseradish cream.

Crab cakes can also be paired with cocktails like Bloody Mary, mojito, and gimlet or wines like Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc for a more refined dining experience.

Here are our some delicious recipes that you can serve with Crab Cakes:

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