Easy Maryland Crab Cakes

Easy Maryland Crab Cakes

Maryland Crab Cakes are a special treat on the Eastern Shore. During the summer, I frequent crab shacks and seafood restaurants with my friends and family to indulge in them. The Chesapeake waters provide an abundant source of these iconic crustaceans with countless ways to use crab in recipes. If you're from Maryland, you likely have a deep love for crab cakes.

maryland crab cakes prepared and cooked on plate with dipping sauce next to green salad

You probably have most of the ingredients for this recipe in your fridge and pantry: breadcrumbs, eggs, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay Seasoning, tartar sauce, and honey. Just add fresh backfin lump crab meat from your local fish market for a spectacular outcome.

You likely have most of the ingredients that you need for this recipe already in your fridge and pantry: breadcrumbs, eggs, mayonnaise (I love Sir Kensington's), Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay Seasoning, some tartar sauce, and a little honey. All it takes is some delicious backfin lump crab meat (fresh from your local fish market, if possible) to make them spectacular.

What Makes a Maryland-Style Crab Cake?

Maryland crab cakes are made from blue crabs found in the Chesapeake Bay. The cake has minimal filler, typically bread crumbs or crushed crackers. In addition, a Maryland Crab Cake must include old bay seasoning, a highly desired product from the state.


Handling Crab Meat:

  • When you bring the lump crabmeat home from the market, make sure that they pack it up with ice. Even if you are only traveling a short distance, this is delicate seafood and it can spoil quickly. Better safe than sorry.
  • When you get home, it's best to gently rinse the crab meat under cold water.
  • While rinsing, pick through the meat and be sure to remove any shells that may have been missed by the fishmonger.


Can you freeze crab meat?

Yes, you can freeze crab meat, but thawing it out involves a trick or two. First, don't leave it in the freezer for more than a couple of weeks, especially if it's lump crab meat. There are air spaces in between the lump and in a short while, in my experience, the crab meat gets freezer burn.

Can you freeze crab cakes?

Yes, you can, but they won't be as good when you thaw and reheat them. It's best to get fresh crab meat and enjoy eating fresh crab cakes.

How do you store crab cakes?

Store crab cakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. I put them on a folded paper towels to draw any oils out and prevent them from becoming soggy.

How do you reheat crab cakes?

Preheat the oven to 325, cover a cookie sheet with foil, place crab cakes into oven for 10-15 minutes. Be careful not to leave them in the oven too long as they will dry out and become chewy.


Maryland Crab Cake Ingredients

First, you'll need to gather up all of your ingredients to make this crab cake recipe. When it comes to purchasing backfin, we look to our fishmonger for the very best, most fresh-picked crab meat that we can get. Frozen crab meat just doesn't cut it. Please find only the very best ingredients.

Here is a list of what you'll need:

  • Jumbo lump backfin crab meat
  • Sir Kensington's mayonnaise
  • Challah breadcrumbs
  • Fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dry mustard
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Bee Inspired Honey
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Making this Crab Cake Recipe

You'll be using your hands a lot for this recipe; it's just easier that way. Make sure that they are clean when you get started. Once you've gathered all of your ingredients, follow these steps to make the best crab cakes ever:

First: Check the crab meat for shells

This is a very important step. You don't want anyone choking or getting hurt from shells. Some crab comes "cleaner" than others and you don't want to make any assumptions. pick through the meat carefully so that you don't lose the shape of the lumps. After all, that lump is what makes a Maryland-style crab cake!

Second: Mix the crab cakes

Mix together all ingredients except for crab and butter. Add in crab and mix well with your hands. Once mixed well (without losing the shape of the lump) Measure out 1/2 cup size mounds and form 5-6 medium-sized crab cakes. Or for crab balls In miniature measure 1 generous tablespoon and roll into a ball shape. Crab balls are a perfect party "pick-up" food.

Note: if the meat isn't sticking together well enough, adjust bread crumbs if needed I find that if I am using my hands for the making of the cakes, I can dip my hand in the bread crumbs and use what sticks to my hand and that's just enough to hold it all together. On the other hand, if the meat is too dry, add a little mayo.

Third: Pan-fry the crab cakes

I prefer to pan-fry these cakes over medium-high heat in a butter and olive oil combination. You may also choose to broil your crab cakes. Broiling takes more babysitting and if you lose track of your crab cakes you can burn them in the broiler. I don't like to risk burning the crab cakes.

maryland crab cakes prepared and uncooked in frying pan on wood table

This is a rare fried recipe on this blog

That being said, we feel that frying up the crab cakes is essential; without the heat of a skillet, they won't get the golden crispy exterior that we all love. You can also broil crab cakes if you prefer not to fry them to achieve a golden brown cake. Just know that they won't have the same golden appearance along with that crunch we expect from fried cakes. When pan-frying, we use both a little butter and a little olive oil, but you can always use just olive or coconut oil.

Make a Big Batch - They Go Fast!

What do you serve with these easy-to-make Maryland crab cakes?

  • For a whole meal, you can serve these crab cakes with a fresh salad, or seasonal grilled veggies
  • Make crab balls (miniature crab cakes) and serve as an appetizer with a side of Russian dressing
  • These cakes even make a perfect sandwich just add one crab cake to a delicious brioche top with a slice of tomato, lettuce, and a dollop of mayonnaise.
  • In our video below, within the recipe card, we've served them with Honey Mustard Sauce
  • In many local restaurants, crab cakes are served with a side of shrimp cocktail sauce
  • Crab cakes are commonly served with a side of tartar sauce
Crab cake on plate with fresh green salad and honey mustard dipping sauce on wood table with striped napkin

Adapting this Easy Maryland Crab Cake Recipe

There are always many different ways to make these crab cakes your own. Switch things up a bit, try seasoning you’ve never used before or swap an ingredient with one of your favorites. We always encourage making kitchen time fun at Bee Inspired Honey House. Here are some ideas:

  • Prepare the cakes the night before, allowing them to set overnight will make them more flavorful
  • Instead of using mayonnaise and dry mustard, use an equal amount of dijon mustard in place of the two ingredients
  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice over top and sprinkle with fresh parsley just before serving for a flavorful twist

So. Darn. Good.

Whatever way you serve these crab cakes, you, your family and or your guests will fall in love at first bite. Watch our video below to see how easy it is to put this recipe together. Enjoy these crab cakes with the honey mustard sauce we make in this awesome recipe:

Serve these crabcakes with our Southern Cornbread for a perfect pairing!

Cornbread in a round pan with a pie-shaped slice out of it still in skillet. Perfect for Thanksgiving Feast!

This Watermelon Feta Salad goes well with these crab cakes. Perfect summer pair!

watermelon feta salad with kalamata olives onion and tomato on plater
Bee Inspired Easy Maryland Crab Cakes Tall Pin