Deliciously Easy Crab Cake Recipe: Perfect for Any Occasion!

Discover a mouth-watering crab cake recipe that will leave you craving for more!

Ingredients needed to make a crab cake

Crab Meat

The most important ingredient in any crab cake recipe is the crab meat itself. You can use fresh or canned crab meat, but fresh will always give you the best flavor and texture. Look for lump or jumbo lump crab meat, which has larger chunks of meat and fewer shells.


Breadcrumbs are used to bind the crab cake mixture together and give it structure. You can use plain breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs, which are lighter and crispier.


An egg is also used as a binding agent in the crab cake mixture. It helps hold everything together so that the cakes don’t fall apart when cooking.


Mayonnaise adds moisture to the crab cake mixture and helps keep it tender. You can use regular or light mayonnaise depending on your preference.


Mustard adds flavor to the crab cakes and pairs well with seafood. Dijon mustard is a popular choice, but you can use any type of mustard you like.

List of Ingredients:

  • Fresh or canned lump crab meat
  • Breadcrumbs (plain or panko)
  • Egg
  • Mayonnaise (regular or light)
  • Mustard (Dijon or other)
  • Parsley (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon wedges for serving (optional)

How to prepare crab meat for a crab cake recipe

If you are using fresh crab meat, you will need to pick through it to remove any shells or cartilage before making the crab cakes. To do this, spread the crab meat out on a large plate or cutting board and use your fingers or a fork to gently pick through it.

If you are using canned crab meat, drain it well and gently squeeze out any excess liquid before adding it to the crab cake mixture.

Steps for preparing fresh crab meat:

  1. Spread the crab meat out on a large plate or cutting board.
  2. Use your fingers or a fork to gently pick through the meat and remove any shells or cartilage.
  3. Discard the shells and cartilage and transfer the cleaned crab meat to a bowl.

Steps for preparing canned crab meat:

  1. Open the can of crab meat and drain off any liquid.
  2. Gently squeeze the crab meat with your hands to remove any excess liquid.
  3. Add the drained crab meat to a bowl for mixing with other ingredients.

The best way to form crab cakes

The key to forming perfect crab cakes is not overworking the mixture. You want to mix everything together just until it is combined, but not so much that it turns into a paste. Here’s how to form perfect crab cakes:

Steps for forming perfect crab cakes:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the crab cakes (except for the oil).
  2. Gently mix everything together until just combined. Do not overwork the mixture.
  3. Use your hands to form the mixture into 6-8 equal-sized balls.
  4. Flatten each ball slightly to form a patty shape.

You can also use a cookie cutter or mold to form perfectly round crab cakes. Simply press the mixture into the mold and then gently remove it before cooking.

Baking or frying crab cakes: which is better and how long?

Crab cakes can be cooked in a variety of ways, including baking, frying, or grilling. The most common methods are baking and frying. Here’s how to cook crab cakes using either method:

Baking Crab Cakes

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Brush a baking sheet with oil or line it with parchment paper.
  3. Place the crab cakes on the prepared baking sheet and brush them lightly with oil.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown and heated through.

Frying Crab Cakes

  1. In a large skillet, heat about 1/4 inch of oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
  2. Carefully add the crab cakes to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy.
  3. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels before serving.

The cooking time will vary depending on the size of your crab cakes. Make sure they are heated through before serving. You can check this by inserting a thermometer into the center of one of the cakes – it should read at least 145°F (63°C).

Sauces that pair well with crab cakes

Crab cakes are delicious on their own, but they are even better when served with a tasty sauce. Here are some sauces that pair well with crab cakes:

Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce is a classic condiment for seafood and pairs perfectly with crab cakes. You can make your own by mixing together mayonnaise, chopped pickles, capers, lemon juice, and herbs.

Cocktail Sauce

Cocktail sauce is another classic seafood sauce that goes well with crab cakes. It’s made by combining ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and hot sauce.

Lemon Aioli

Aioli is a garlic-flavored mayonnaise that can be flavored in many different ways. Lemon aioli is a great choice for crab cakes because it adds a bright citrus flavor to the dish.

List of Sauces:

  • Tartar Sauce
  • Cocktail Sauce
  • Lemon Aioli
  • Remoulade Sauce
  • Garlic Butter Sauce
  • Honey Mustard Sauce
  • Sriracha Mayo
  • Chipotle Mayo
  • Herb Butter Sauce
  • Mango Salsa (not a traditional sauce but still delicious!)

Making and reheating crab cakes ahead of time

If you want to make crab cakes ahead of time or have leftovers to reheat, you can do so easily. Here’s how:

Making Crab Cakes Ahead of Time

You can make the crab cake mixture ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking. Form the mixture into patties just before cooking.

Reheating Crab Cakes

If you have leftover crab cakes, you can reheat them in the oven or on the stovetop. To reheat in the oven, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the crab cakes on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until heated through. To reheat on the stovetop, heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the crab cakes and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until heated through.

Variations and substitutions for a crab cake recipe

There are many ways to customize a crab cake recipe to suit your tastes or dietary needs. Here are some variations and substitutions you can try:

Panko Bread Crumbs

For a lighter and crispier texture, use panko breadcrumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs.

Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs

If you need to make gluten-free crab cakes, use gluten-free breadcrumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs.

Crab Cake Sliders

To make mini crab cake sliders, form smaller patties and serve them on slider buns with your favorite toppings.

Spicy Crab Cakes

Add some heat to your crab cakes by adding chopped jalapeños or red pepper flakes to the mixture.

List of Variations:

  • Use panko breadcrumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs
  • Use gluten-free breadcrumbs for a gluten-free recipe
  • Make mini crab cake sliders
  • Add jalapeños or red pepper flakes for a spicy version
  • Use different types of mustard (honey mustard, whole grain, etc.) for different flavors
  • Add Old Bay seasoning for a classic Chesapeake Bay flavor
  • Top with a slice of avocado or tomato for added freshness and flavor

Tips for making moist and flavorful crab cakes

Making the perfect crab cake takes practice, but these tips will help you get there:

Don’t Overwork the Mixture

The key to tender and moist crab cakes is to not overwork the mixture. Mix everything together just until it is combined, but not so much that it turns into a paste.

Use Fresh Crab Meat

Fresh crab meat will always give you the best flavor and texture. Look for lump or jumbo lump crab meat, which has larger chunks of meat and fewer shells.

Add Flavorful Ingredients

To add more flavor to your crab cakes, try adding chopped herbs (such as parsley or chives), diced onions or shallots, or minced garlic to the mixture.

Bake or Fry Carefully

To avoid dry or overcooked crab cakes, be careful when baking or frying them. Watch them closely and remove them from heat as soon as they are golden brown and heated through.

List of Tips:

  • Don’t overwork the mixture
  • Use fresh crab meat
  • Add flavorful ingredients (herbs, onions, garlic, etc.)
  • Bake or fry carefully to avoid dryness or overcooking
  • Chill the mixture before forming into patties to help them hold together better
  • Brush the crab cakes with oil before cooking to help them brown and crisp up
  • Serve with a flavorful sauce or topping to add more flavor and moisture to the dish

In conclusion, the crab cake recipe is a delicious and easy-to-follow dish that can be enjoyed by seafood lovers of all ages.


Are crab cakes better fried or baked?

When it comes to cooking crab cakes, I personally prefer baking them as it is easier (no risk of them breaking apart when flipped) and they are less likely to become dry (which can happen when frying them in a pan). However, frying provides a delicious crispy texture on the outside which some people may prefer.

What is the best type of crab for crab cakes?

Jumbo lump crabmeat is the preferred option for those who are purists when it comes to crab cakes. Cameron’s jumbo lump Maryland crab meat is the ideal choice for homemade crab cakes. The regular lump crabmeat is more fragile and needs less binding for the cakes.

What is the difference between Maryland and traditional crab cakes?

A crab cake is only considered a Maryland crab cake if it consists of meat from a Maryland blue crab, which is known for its distinctive sweet taste. Box Hill uses only blue crab meat in their renowned crab cakes to highlight this signature flavor.

Are crab cakes healthy or unhealthy?

Maryland Crabcakes from Enjoy Fatty Acids are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein, making them a healthy option for any meal of the day. Consuming lean protein, such as crabmeat, can help protect your arteries and lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This information was published on Mar 18, 2013.

Which cooking method is best for crab?

Boiling is the preferred way to cook crabs and is simple, yet maximizes the flavor. To boil crabs, start by filling a large pot with water and adding a considerable amount of salt. Aug 3, 2022.

Are crab cakes supposed to be crispy or soft?

When it comes to crab cakes, the focus should be on the crab itself, without any distractions. The perfect crab cake should have a crispy exterior and a moist and flaky interior, with a taste that highlights the freshness and flavor of the crab, without any added fillers or spices.

This article provides a list of ingredients needed to make crab cakes, including fresh or canned crab meat, breadcrumbs, egg, mayonnaise, mustard, parsley (optional), salt and pepper. The article also explains how to prepare fresh crab meat for use in the recipe by picking through it to remove any shells or cartilage.

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