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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.


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Reviews (31 reviews)

  • 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!

  • TishTish | 09/07/2019

    I've just made this recipe and it was outstanding. But I wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading bstj8's story about her father. It was so loving and admiring. And because of it, I switched out breadcrumbs for crushed saltines. Bravo to your Dad.

  • Crab Dynasty | 05/20/2018

    This is probably the best crab cake recipe we ever tried. We used fresh crab met from Crab Dynasty: https://www.crabdynasty.com/products/c1-Live-Hard-Crabs/

  • bstj8 | 02/26/2018

    I grew up in Norfolk & Va Beach, Va. and this recipe is very close to the one my father used. He was a fireman for the City of Norfolk, Va. and he cooked crab cakes when he could afford the crab meat for the station. My father used saltine crackers instead of bread crumbs about 10 crackers broken up into small pieces. He would mix all wet ingredients first, pour over the crackers and then lightly fold in the crab meat. Chilling the mixture is a must. He also told me to make the crab cakes about 2 1/2-3 inches in diameter and to only turn them over once so don’t cook on high heat. Turning over and over causes them to fall apart. I have followed his recipe and hints for over 55 years and they are just like the ones he made at home and at the station. All my friends and family love his recipe.

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