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Classic Maryland Crab Cakes Recipe

Scott Phillips

Servings: four.

This crab cake is the real deal—no fussy stuff, no flavor disguises. Just pure, sweet crab meat, and lots of it. You add in just enough egg and fresh bread crumbs to bind the crabmeat together. White sandwich bread yields the absolute best cakes—soft and flaky at the same time. Use just enough Old Bay seasoning to give a hint of its presence or it will overpower the crab.


  • 1 lb. jumbo lump or backfin lump crabmeat, fresh or pasteurized
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce Kosher salt
  • 1-1/4 cups fresh breadcrumbs (from soft white sandwich bread, such as Pepperidge Farm)
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 340
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 200
  • Fat (g): 23
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 140
  • Sodium (mg): 890
  • Carbohydrates (g): 9
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 23


  • Drain the crabmeat, if necessary, and pick through it for shells ( jumbo lump will not have  shells). Put the crab in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Scrape the mixture over the crab and mix gently until well combined. Gently break up the lumps with your fingers but do not overmix.
  • Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and the parsley over the mixture, and mix them in thoroughly but gently; try not to turn the mixture into a mash—it should still be somewhat loose. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.
  • Shape the crab mixture into 8 cakes about 1 inch thick. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. When the butter is frothy, add the cakes to the pan (8 should fit comfortably). Cook until dark golden brown on the underside, about 4 minutes. Flip the cakes, reduce the heat to medium low, and continue cooking until the other side is well browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the cakes.

Serve with a sauté of Corn, Sweet Onion & Zucchini with Fresh Mint, and finish the meal with Marinated Peaches.


Rate or Review

Reviews (33 reviews)

  • willnormac | 01/01/2021

    Having grown up on Maryland's Eastern Shore, I have to say that this gets the basics right. The best homemade crabcakes never used much beyond fresh lump backfin and just enough filler to hold it together. Of all the recipes I've seen online over the years, this comes closest to the real deal. Well done, Fine Cooking and Ms. Middleton!

  • User avater
    italianrose987 | 07/02/2020

    Love this recipe! Even without being able to find decent crab meat (no clue why? maybe the Dutch don't eat crab like this? I had to buy canned) , it was a good recipe! The Old Bay seasoning makes it! We also used panko breadcrumbs, which gave it a nice texture. Thanks!

  • PeachyD | 12/09/2019

    I used this recipe for my first ever attempt at crab cakes, to serve at the first Thanksgiving I've been in charge of. They were STELLAR! I also followed bstj8's recommendation and used saltine crackers instead of bread crumbs. Seriously, I had to slap my husband's hand away from the plate multiple times because he couldn't wait to eat them.

    I also seared them for a few minutes on medium-high heat with a mixture of butter and olive oil, then baked them in the oven for about 10 minutes on 350 which helped get them evenly warm throughout.

    Thank you for posting this recipe, it will be used quite often!

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