These Maryland crab cakes are fresh crab combined with seasonings and cracker crumbs, then baked to make an easy yet elegant appetizer or main course. The best crab cakes you’ll ever eat!

I love fresh seafood whether it’s lobster tails, bacon wrapped scallops, or a dish that features crab. These crab cakes are my go-to recipe when I’m looking for something that will impress my family and friends.

These Maryland crab cakes are fresh crab combined with seasonings and cracker crumbs, then baked to make an easy yet elegant appetizer or main course. These Maryland crab cakes are fresh crab combined with seasonings and cracker crumbs, then baked to make an easy yet elegant appetizer or main course.

Maryland crab cakes on a serving plate with lemon wedges.

Whenever I go to my local seafood restaurant, I have to order the crab cakes. I’ve since learned how to make this dish at home, and it’s actually quite easy. In fact, I think my homemade crab cakes are even better than the restaurant version.

How do you make Maryland crab cakes?

Whisk together mayonnaise, egg and seasonings in a bowl. Toss the crab with saline cracker crumbs, then gently combine the crab mixture with the mayonnaise and seasonings. Let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour so that it can firm up and be shaped into cakes. Gently form the mixture into patties, then bake the cakes in the oven until they’re golden brown and cooked through. Serve immediately with remoulade sauce on the side.

Crab meat and cracker crumbs in a bowl.

What kind of crab meat is best for crab cakes?

Typically, lump blue crab meat is used for crab cakes. Other varieties of crab, such as dungeness and rock crab can also be used. The important part is to make sure whatever type of crab you choose, that you use large chunks or lump style meat. The bigger the pieces, the better! It’s also important to gently stir the crab into the seasoning mixture so that you don’t break it up into smaller pieces.

Tips for the best cakes

  • You want to gently form the crab mixture into cakes – if you pack the mixture tightly, the cakes will be dense which is not desirable.
  • Crab patties are best served immediately. Leftovers will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • If you prefer, you can cook your cakes in a pan to get a crispy, browned crust on both sides. You’ll need to add more cracker crumbs if you go this route so that the mixture will be firmer. I prefer less filler and more crab which is why I bake them in the oven!
  • This recipe uses saltine cracker crumbs as a binder which is fairly traditional, but you can also use buttery cracker crumbs or panko breadcrumbs.

A mixture of crab, mayonnaise and seasonings in a bowl.

What goes with crab cakes?

You can serve your crab patties as an appetizer, or as a lighter main course. When I serve this dish as starter, I typically place one or two cakes on top of a bed of fresh mixed greens that have been dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. I also like to serve these crab cakes as a main course with a starch and a veggie. Some great starch options include roasted potatoes or a rice pilaf. For vegetables, I like to serve asparagus, broccoli or green beans.

Crab patties on a sheet pan.

Flavor variations

These crab cakes are fabulous as-is, but you can absolutely customize the recipe to your tastes.

  • Seafood: You can use a mixture of diced shrimp and crab for a different take on the classic recipe.
  • Vegetables: Sometimes I like to add some sauteed veggies such as onions, garlic or bell pepper.
  • Flavorings: Feel free to add other flavoring components such as dill, garlic powder, smoked paprika or cayenne pepper.
  • Sauces: While I typically serve my cakes with remoulade sauce on the side, cocktail sauce or tartar sauce is also a great choice.

A serving of Maryland crab cakes with a side of remoulade sauce.

These patties are the perfect blend of crab and seasonings. This recipe is a great way to enjoy restaurant style food in the comfort of your own home!

More seafood recipes to try

Maryland Crab Cakes Video

5 from 20 votes

Maryland Crab Cakes

AuthorSara Welch
Maryland crab cakes on a serving plate with lemon wedges.
These Maryland crab cakes are fresh crab combined with seasonings and cracker crumbs, then baked to make an easy yet elegant appetizer or main course. The best crab cakes you'll ever eat!
Time
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Chilling Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Serves 4

Ingredients 

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons green onions sliced
  • 1 pound lump crab meat
  • 1 cup saltine crackers crushed
  • lemon wedges and remoulade sauce for serving optional
  • cooking spray

Instructions 

  • Place the mayonnaise, egg, Dijon mustard, hot sauce, lemon juice and Old Bay seasoning in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Stir in the green onions.
  • Place the crab and cracker crumbs in a bowl, gently stir to combine. Pour the crab mixture into the mayonnaise. Gently toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least one hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray.
  • Gently form the chilled crab mixture into 8 equal sized patties (approximately 1/3 cup each).
  • Place the crab cakes on the sheet pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Serve immediately with lemon wedges and remoulade sauce if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 803mg | Potassium: 274mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 117IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg

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Comments

  1. Do you think I could use instant mashed potato flakes instead of crackers for the filler? I have started doing that with meat loaf and have been very pleased with the results.

  2. Hello! I would love to make these for Christmas Eve. But I am wondering can I keep them in the refrigerator for a day and then bake them the next day? Or should they only be refrigerated fir one hour before making them?