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Perfect Crab Cakes are super easy to make. Use real lump or imitation crab and put together a gourmet crab cake in under 15 minutes. No restaurant required!

Three Crab Cakes stacked into a pyramid with tartar sauce on the top.

Crab cakes are enjoyed by people all over the world! This recipe is a Maryland-style crab cake that is full of flavor. What’s the difference between a Maryland-style crab cake and others? Old Bay seasoning, a proprietary blend of spices that originates from Maryland, is added in to season the crab meat. Anything else you add in will depend on your own personal taste preferences. No matter how you choose to enjoy them, crab cakes are a delicious treat!

What is old bay seasoning?

Old Bay seasoning is the brand name of a spice blend that pairs well with seafood. It contains bay leaf powder, celery salt, mustard, pepper, ginger, paprika, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, red pepper flakes, mace, cardamom, and cinnamon. While you can certainly make your own spice blend at home, it’s very convenient to buy it as a spice blend since it contains such a wide variety of spices.

What kind of crab should I use to make crab cakes?

There are generally two kinds of fresh crab sold: lump crab meat, and lump claw meat. Lump claw meat tends to be far less expensive and still creates a tasty crab cake. It can be sold in a refrigerated can or in plastic bag packaging. You can also buy it at the seafood counter of your grocery store.  Lump crab meat is also sold in the canned section of your grocery store near the tuna, but it is not considered fresh. It is not recommended for this recipe. Imitation crab can also be used in this recipe if you are trying to save money. But nothing beats real, fresh crab.

What kind of sauce to serve with crab cakes:

There are lots of options when it comes to sauces that pair well with crab cakes. Tartar Sauce is a classic option, but there are lots of other options as well. Crab pairs well with cocktail sauce, remoulade, wasabi-based sauces if you like heat, or even a creamy horseradish sauce. Garlic butter is also an easy option as well.

What is a good side dish for crab cakes?

Coleslaw, french fries, and fresh or roasted vegetables are all great side dishes for crab cakes.

How long can you keep crab cakes in the fridge?

Seafood is best consumed within 2 days. It’s not recommended that crab cakes be stored in the refrigerator for longer than 48 hours.

Close up shot of Crab Cakes to show the flakiness of the crust.

This recipe is written for a fried crab cake, but there are other options for cooking your crab cake, including broiling, baking, and air frying. Crab cakes need to be cooked because of the egg. No matter how you choose to make them, they sure are delicious!

Broiling Instructions

Instead of dipping the crab cakes in flour, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and brush on the top of your shaped crab cakes. Place crab cakes onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Place your oven rack in the center of your oven and broil on high for 12 to 15 minutes. If your crab cakes brown too much, lower the rack in your oven to get your crab cakes further away from the broiling heating element

Baking Instructions

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Instead of dipping the crab cakes in flour, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and brush on the top of your shaped crab cakes. Place crab cakes onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in the 450 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

Air Fryer Instructions

Preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray. Instead of dipping the crab cakes in flour, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and brush on the top of your shaped crab cakes or spray the tops lightly with oil. Place crab cakes into the bottom of your air fryer basket and airfry at 375 degrees for approximately 12 to 15 minutes.

If you like this recipe you may also be interested in these other seafood recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual and we’ve always got you covered with The Stay At Home Chef Cooking Show. You can find the full collection of episodes for free on YouTube, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Three Crab Cakes stacked into a pyramid with tartar sauce on the top.
Perfect Crab Cakes are super easy to make. Use real lump or imitation crab and put together a gourmet crab cake in under 15 minutes. No restaurant required!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 pound lump crab meat
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon old bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions for garnish
Instructions
  • Pick through crab meat and make sure there are no shells. Place into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  • Stir in bread crumbs, mayo, egg, mustard, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, old bay, garlic powder, and salt. Stir until ingredients are evenly distributed.
  • Take about 1/4 cup of the crab mixture and shape into a patty. Repeat with remaining crab mixture. Spread flour out onto a plate. Dip crab cake into flour on both sides to coat and gently brush off excess.
  • Pour enough oil into a large skillet to cover the bottom and heat over medium high heat. Working in batches as needed, fry crab cakes in hot oil until golden brown 3 to 5 minutes on each side, adding more oil between batches.
  • Transfer fried crab cakes to a paper towel lined plate to drain before serving hot. Garnish with green onions.
Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 998mg | Potassium: 220mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 115IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1.8mg
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Crab Cakes
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