How to Make Crab Cakes 

I am not sure who it was that first figured out how to make crab cakes but I am sure happy they did; as are most people. I do know this is an American recipe and very popular in the state of Maryland. At one time in my life I spent a lot of time in Maryland (around Baltimore) and the crab cakes are wonderful.

The first question out of everyone’s mouth when you arrive in Maryland is “Have you eaten the Maryland crab cakes yet?” It seems that every restaurant has its own slightly variant version of this delicacy which makes it hard to decide which you like the best. One restaurant was known to be the best crab cake restaurant but I could never get in the door to try them; they were always lined up down the road.

The ones who learned how to make crab cakes know that the best crab cakes come from using the best crab you can buy. Traditionally, this “American conception” or should I say “Maryland conception” is associated around the Chesapeake Bay, especially the Baltimore area. The fresh blue crab from the Chesapeake Bay Is considered the very best; that is why this area is known by crab lovers all over the world for their best crab cake recipes. They have even gained popularity as the national food of the Preakness thoroughbred race in Baltimore.

Even though Maryland claims the fame for knowing how to make crab cakes, most coastal states say their cakes are the best. Most of these vary somewhat in taste by using different spices, herbs and other ingredients. Besides the best available crab meat, other common ingredients are bread crumbs, mayonnaise, milk, eggs, onion and various seasonings. Cooks add these in different quantities and some do add unique ingredients resulting in various taste and texture. Many recipes include special sauces which make wonderful flavorful additions.


Crab cakes are great served as appetizers but are commonly traditionally shaped into patties for entrees or served on sandwiches. Most crab cakes are breaded and pan fried or deep fried. Other cooks will suggest broiling or baking being the best way to cook crab cakes.


Maryland Crab CakesHow to Make Crab Cakes

Learn how to make crab cakes like in Maryland.

  • 1 Pound Chesapeake Bay crab meat
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 Tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 2 Teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • Salt/ white pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon lemon juice
  • Butter and vegetable oil

Pick over crab meat and remove any bits shell.

Combine crabmeat lightly with remaining ingredients until blended.

Shape into 6 crab cakes about 1 inch thick.

Heat half butter and half oil in heavy frying pan.

Sauté quickly in hot skillet on both sides turning 1 time.

OPTION: Bake at 450F degrees for 7 to 10 minutes.

Prepping Maryland Crab CakesPrepping Maryland Crab Cakes

DEVILED CRAB CAKES with red chili mayonnaise

Learn how to make crab cakes like in Alaska.

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Teaspoons minced onion
  • ¼ Teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon minced red pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon minced yellow pepper
  • 4 Teaspoons flour
  • 1/3 Cup heavy cream
  • 1 Teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 Teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 2 Teaspoons mixed herbs (Basil, parsley, chives, etc.)
  • ¼ Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Dash Tabasco
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 10 Ounces Alaskan crab meat (Pick over and rinse)
  • 1 Teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ¼ Cups fresh bread crumbs (Divided)
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1 Egg
  • Clarified butter for frying
  • Romaine lettuce (Slice thin)

Red Chili Mayonnaise

  • 1 Teaspoon Thai Chili Sauce (Asian stores)
  • 3 Cloves garlic
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup olive oil
  • 1 Cup vegetable oil
  • Salt/ pepper to taste

FOR CRAB CAKES melt butter in skillet; add onion, garlic and peppers.

Cook over low heat 2 to 3 minutes; stir in flour until blended.

Stir 2 to 3 minutes longer but not brown.

Gradually stir in the cream stirring until thickened.

Add dry and prepared mustard, herbs, cayenne and Tabasco; mix well.

Mix in egg yolk; quickly add crabmeat, juice and ¼ CUP of breadcrumbs.

Remove from heat; refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Divide crab mixture into 12 equal parts; shape into ovals.

Beat egg and milk together; dip ovals into egg/milk.

Dip each oval then into remaining 1 CUP of breadcrumbs.

Fry crab cakes in the clarified butter until golden on both sides.

Drain on paper towels.

FOR RED CHILI SAUCE combine Thai sauce, garlic and lime juice in food processor.

Add the mustard and eggs; process until smooth and well blended.

With processor running add ¼ of OIL 1 tablespoon at a time.

Now add remaining OIL in steady stream with processor still running.

Season with salt and pepper.

TO SERVE line 4 serving plates with Romaine lettuce.

Place 3 crab cakes on each plate; top with a spoonful of red chili sauce.

Serves 4.


Learn how to make crab cakes like Savannah, Georgia.

  • 1 Pound Georgia crab meat (Picked free of shell)
  • ½ Cup crushed Ritz crackers
  • 3 Green onions (Chopped fine with tops)
  • ½ Cup green bell pepper (Chopped fine)
  • ¼ Cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon dry mustard
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ¼ Teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • Flour for dusting
  • ½ Cup peanut oil

Combine and mix all ingredients EXCEPT the flour and peanut oil.

Shape mixture into patties; dust each patty with flour.

Panfry patties in hot peanut oil over medium heat.

NOTE: Cook on each side 4 to 5 minutes until golden brown.

Serve with tartar sauce; RECIPE FOLLOWS.


  • ½ Cup chopped green onion
  • ½ Cup chopped dill pickles
  • 1 Cup mayonnaise
  • ½ Teaspoon seafood seasoning

COMBINE ALL ingredients in small bowl; serve with crab cakes.


Learn how to make crab cakes from North Carolina.

  • 1 Pound fresh blue crab meat
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ Cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ Cup finely chopped celery
  • ¼ Cup minced onion
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 Slices fresh bread (Cubed)
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil


  • ¼ Cup PLUS 2 tablespoons chili sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Ripe tomatoes (Peel, seed and chop)
  • 1 Teaspoon horseradish
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

FOR CRAB CAKES combine crab meat, pepper, celery, onion and parsley.

Add baking powder, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise and bread mixing well.

Shape mixture into patties; chill about 1 hour.

FOR SAUCE combine all ingredients; chill until ready to serve.

TO SERVE sauté crab cakes in hot oil over medium heat.

Brown on both sides turning 1 time; serve with sauce.


Learn how to make crab cakes from the Mediterranean area.

  • 5 Tablespoons butter (Divided)
  • ¼ Cup chopped onion
  • ¼ Cup chopped celery
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • About 12 ounces crab meat
  • 1 ¼ Cups Italian bread crumbs (Divided)
  • ¼ Cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Beaten egg
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper

In large skillet heat 1 TABLESPOON butter; add onion, celery and garlic.

Cook for 3 minutes or until tender stirring occasionally.

Remove skillet from the heat; stir in crabmeat and ¼ CUP bread crumbs.

Stir in the mayonnaise, egg, Worcestershire, lemon juice and pepper.

Shape into 4 patties; coat with remaining 1 CUP bread crumbs.

NOTE: Press the crumbs into the patties.

Melt remaining 4 TABLESPOONS butter in skillet over medium heat.

Cook patties in butter 8 to 9 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Serves 4.


Learn how to make crab cakes from the Caribbean. 

  • 1 ½ Pounds fresh crab meat (Picked over)
  • ¾ Cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 Cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3 Cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 Cups fresh breadcrumbs (Divided)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter (Divided)
  • ¼ Cup vegetable oil (Divided)
  • ¼ Cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ Cup molasses
  • 3 Medium tomatoes (Slice ¼ inch thick)
  • 8 Basil sprigs
  • 1 Tablespoon
  • 1 Teaspoon chive oil (MAKE AHEAD recipe for making below)

In a large bowl gently mix the crab meat, mayonnaise and red pepper.

Add the onion, Old Bay seasoning, salt, pepper and 1 CUP of breadcrumbs.

Spread remaining 1 CUP of bread crumbs on a plate.

Blend mixture and shape into 8 crab cakes; coat with crumbs on plate.

Place crab cakes on a tray; cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 4 hours.

In a large skillet melt 1 ½ TABLESPOONS butter with 2 TABLESPOONS oil.

Cook over moderate heat 4 cakes at a time until golden brown turning 1 time.

NOTE: Cook about 10 minutes until thoroughly heated; place on heated platter and keep warm.

Add to skillet remaining 1 TABLESPOON butter and 2 TABLESPOONS oil.

Cook remaining crab cakes.

FOR SAUCE in small saucepan combine vinegar and molasses.

Simmer mixture until slightly thickened about 2 minutes.

Arrange tomato slices in center of 8 plates; place a crab cake on top.

Garnish each with a basil sprig; drizzle each with 2 TEASPOONS of the glaze.

Drizzle ½ TEASPOON of the chive oil around each serving.


  • 1 ½ Cups coarsely chopped chives
  • ½ Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ Teaspoon salt

TO MAKE combine all ingredients in food processor.

Process to a puree; strain. (Can be refrigerated)


Learn how to make crab cakes with Dijon sauce (Make sauce first and chill).

  • ¾ Cup soft breadcrumbs
  • 1 Egg white (Beaten lightly)
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
  • ½ Teaspoon mustard
  • ¼ Teaspoon celery salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Pound lump crabmeat (Drain)
  • 1 Tablespoon cooking oil

Combine first 9 ingredients in large bowl; mix.

Shape mixture into 6 equal patties; cover and chill for 1 hour.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.

Cook patties 3 to 4 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Drain on paper towels; combine all sauce ingredients and serve.

Dijon Sauce 

  • 1 Cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ Cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce



  • ½ Cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons pesto sauce

Crab Cakes

  • 1 Pound fresh crab meat (Clean, rinse, shred)
  • ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/3 Cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons pesto sauce
  • 1 Egg (Beaten)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil


  • Tomato slices
  • Fresh basil

FOR SAUCE combine ingredients in small bowl.

Cover bowl and refrigerate until serving.

FOR CAKES combine all ingredients in large bowl EXCEPT oil.

Mix well; shape mixture into 8 patties (Press to 3 inches).

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until hot.

Add patties and cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side until thoroughly cooked.

Drain on paper towels; serve with garnish and topped with sauce.

Serves 8.


Learn how to make crab cakes like the Merrick Inn in Lexington, Kentucky.

  • 1 Pound fresh back fin crabmeat (Clean, pick out al bone)
  • 2 Hard cooked eggs (Grate fine)
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley (Finely chop)
  • ½ Cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • White pepper to taste
  • 6 Soda crackers (Crushed fine)

In a large bowl mix eggs, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper.

Add crabmeat and mix lightly; cover and refrigerate (1 Hour).

Shape mixture into 8 cakes; roll in crushed crackers.

Deep fry at 340F degrees OR sauté until golden brown on both sides.

Serve plain or with your favorite sauce; serves 4.


Learn how to make crab cakes from South Carolina.

  • ½ Cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ Cup finely chopped celery
  • ¼ Cup finely chopped scallions
  • ¼ Cup finely chopped parsley
  • ½ Tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • ½ Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ Teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/8 Teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 Slices white bread (Dice and toast lightly)
  • 1 Pound crab meat (Pick clean)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons peanut oil

Combine mayonnaise, celery, scallions and parsley.

Add the lemon peel, juice, Tabasco and nutmeg; mix well.

Add bread and stir until all is well coated.

Gently fold in the crab meat (Do not over mix breaking crab meat).

Shape into 8 equal patties.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

Place 4 cakes at a time in hot skillet.

Sauté until browned on both sides (3 to 4 minutes a side).

Drain on paper towels; makes 8 patties/ 4 servings.