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. Have you ever been in Maryland? At one time in my life I spent a lot of time in Maryland (around Baltimore) and the crab cakes are wonderful.

I have to believe that this is the place where they first learned how to make crab cakes; and perfected them. 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 when shopping. Traditionally, this “American conception” or should I say “Maryland conception” is associated around the Chesapeake Bay, especially Baltimore. 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.

I know how to make crab cakes to serve as appetizer recipes and as entrée recipes. Although this recipe is serve quite frequently as appetizers as I do, in the traditional way they are shaped in patties and served as sandwiches on hamburger buns or maybe as an open face sandwich. Besides the best available crab meat, the recipe will contain other ingredients like bread crumbs, mayonnaise, milk, eggs, onion and various seasonings. Some people add other ingredients and add all of them if different quantities; this is why the taste can vary.

If you ask expert crab makers how to make crab cakes, of course their answer will vary even in how to cook the best crab cake recipe. As you will find them being sold along the boardwalks, some insist that they must be breaded and deep fried; this is how I do when serving as appetizers for a crowd. Others will insist that the real “gourmet” way in restaurants for cooking for a crowd recipes is to broil them and serve on a plate as a main entree.


This crab cake recipe makes about 100 balls.

  • 2 2/3 Cup finely minced red bell pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons finely minced onion
  • 4 Teaspoons cooking oil
  • 1 1/3 Cups mayonnaise
  • 2 Large egg yolks
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 4 Teaspoons mustard
  • 4 Teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 3 Pounds white crab meat (if canned, drain; needs to be 3 pounds without liquid)
  • 6 Cups fine bread crumbs
  • Oil for deep frying

Sautee red bell pepper and onion in the 4 teaspoons cooking oil until soft.

In a large bowl or pan combine the mayonnaise, eggs, mustard, lemon juice and Old Bay seasoning; whisk together until well blended.

Stir in the pepper and onion mixture and the crab.

Stir in 2 cups of the bread crumbs to make a dry mixture.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Form round walnut size balls and roll each into bread crumbs; chill for several hours or overnight.

Heat oil to 375F degrees and deep fry several balls at a time.


Maryland Crab Cakes RecipeMaryland Crab Cakes Recipe
  • 6 Pounds fresh crab meat
  • 12 finely grated hard boiled eggs
  • 1/3 Cup packed finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 Cups mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons white pepper
  • Cracker crumbs
  • Oil for frying

How to make crab cakes:

Combine all ingredients except the cracker crumbs; mix lightly and refrigerate.

Shape into 25 to 30 patties and pat cracker crumbs into both sides.

Cook in oil on hot griddle until brown on both sides.

Serve with tartar sauce.


(North Carolina’s Cape Fear Style with lemon dill sauce)

(Makes 24 two inch patties)

  • 1 ½ Cups mayonnaise
  • 1 Cup buttermilk
  • ¼ Cup chopped fresh dill
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • 4 Teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • 2 Finely chopped green onions
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • ¼ Cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
  • ½ Cup melted butter divided
  • ¼ Teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 6 Tablespoons whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 Large beaten eggs
  • 2 Teaspoons minced fresh basil
  • 2 Teaspoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 Cups fine dried breadcrumbs divided
  • 2 Pounds fresh lump crabmeat drained
  • ½ Cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ Cup vegetable oil

To Make Lemon Dill Sauce Recipe: combine first 7 ingredients; blend well, cover and chill.
Place in large skillet green onions, 2 cloves garlic and sweet red pepper in 3 tablespoons melted butter.
Cook over medium high heat until vegetables are tender crisp stirring occasionally.
Add ground pepper, whipping cream and mustard; stir well then cool slightly.
Combine vegetables mixture, eggs, basil, 2 teaspoons minced parsley and 1 cup breadcrumbs.
Stir in crabmeat; shape mixture into 24 two inch patties; place on trays.
Cover patties and chill at least 1 hour.
Combine remaining 1 cup breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese; dredge patties in crumb mixture.
Cook patties in hot oil and remaining butter in large skillet over medium heat 3 minutes on each side.
Remove from heat and serve with lemon dill sauce.

BROILED CRAB CAKES (Open face on English muffins-serves 12)

  • 2 Pounds crabmeat drained
  • 1 Cup mayonnaise
  • 12 Ounces softened cream cheese
  • 4 Egg yolks
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 Teaspoon mustard
  • Salt to taste
  • 12 English muffins
  • Soft butter

Combine crabmeat, mayonnaise, cream cheese, egg yolks, onion and seasonings.
Blend mixture well and spread on each half of split toasted English muffins.
Split the muffins, spread each half with soft butter and top with crab mixture.
Broil about 5 to 6 inches from heat for 2 to 3 minutes.


How to make crab cakes like the Southern east coast-allow 2 patties per serving for 24 servings)

  • 6 Pounds crabmeat
  • 4 Cups soft bread crumbs
  • 8 Beaten eggs
  • ½ Cup finely chopped onions
  • ¼ Cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 4 Teaspoons dry mustard
  • 4 Teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon ground thyme
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 3 Cups flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • Hot sauce

Combine crabmeat, bread crumbs, eggs, onion, green pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce thyme and salt; blend well.
Shape mixture into 48 two inch patties; chill to firm up patties.
Dredge patties in flour; fry in hot oil until brown turning once.
Drain and serve with hot sauce.

› How to Make Crab Cakes

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