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Crab Cake Recipe

Summer is quickly approaching, and with it, crab season which means it’s time to pull out this classic crab cake recipe. These are tender, yet crispy and are perfect to make for an elegant and delicious appetizer or for a quick and simple evening dinner. Using just a few ingredients and fresh crab lump meat, you can make this summer favorite packed full of flavor and freshness!

If you love this crab cake recipe, you’ll also love these Salmon Cakes with Tzatziki Sauce. If you are looking for other delicious seafood recipes to try, take a look at this recipe for Homemade Salmon Caviar and Cold Smoked Salmon Without A Smoker.

Crab cake recipe made on a plate with coleslaw on the side.

Crab Cakes

Crab cakes are handmade fishcakes full of fresh juicy lump crab meat that is super popular specifically on the east coast in the summer. They usually consist of some sort of binder (like breadcrumbs of buttery crackers), mayonnaise, and eggs with a hint of freshness from fresh herbs and seasonings.

While it might be tempting to grab a box of frozen crab cakes from the freezer section when you are craving those delicious fish cakes, it really can’t compare to make these from scratch.

Two crab cakes in a bun with coleslaw

Crab Cake Sauce

As much as these flaky cakes are quite wonderful on their own, pairing them up with the perfect crab cake sauce makes all the difference in the world.

When I make a couple of sandwiches with these, I typically like to top it off with the classic french remoulade sauce. Typically paired with seafood, remoulade has a zesty, cajun flair, and tastes amazing!

To make this crab cake sauce, you need:

  • mayonnaise
  • mustard (Creole mustard if possible)
  • sweet paprika
  • Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • pickle juice (dill or sweet, your preference)
  • prepared horseradish
  • hot sauce (preferably Tabasco)
  • large clove garlic, minced and smashed

Mix everything together in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.

If remoulade sauce isn’t for you, there are a few other crab cake sauces you can try like this tzatziki sauce or tartar sauce.

Crab cake sauce drizzled on top of the meat and coleslaw in a hoagie.

Tips For Making The Best Crab Cake Recipe

Before moving onto the recipe, here are a few simple tips and tricks you need to make the best crab cake recipe. I am here to tell you all about it!

  • Get the best, freshest jumbo crab meat: Try to find fresh crab meat from crab shells and claws. If you are unable to, buy fresh, canned crab meat with no salt or water added.
  • Do not overcook: If you overcook the crab cakes, it can easily dry out the crab and cause the cakes to fall completely apart.
  • Cook in batches: Do not overcrowd the pan so that the crab cakes fully cook and get that nice crispy exterior. It makes all the difference.

How To Make Easy Crab Cakes

*For detailed recipe instructions, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • To make the best crab cakes, mix all of the ingredients except for the crab meat and crackers until well combined. Add the crab meat and carefully fold it into the filling mixture. Sprinkle in saltine cracker crumbs and gently fold them in. How easy is that?

Visual step by step directions for how to make crab cakes

  • Time: Cover and refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. You need to do this to make sure the shape stays together.
  • Shape: Scoop out the mixture with a 1/4 cup measuring cup for mini cakes. Use a 1/2 cup for large crab cakes onto the parchment-lined baking sheet pan. Brush the tops with melted butter for the best flavor.

Visual step by step directions for how to make crab cakes into a round form.

How To Bake Crab Cakes In The Oven:

Transfer the prepped rounds to a 450-degree oven and bake for about 10 minutes for 1/4 cup size. If you make the larger 1/2 cup size, bake them for about 15 minutes.

How To Fry Crab Cakes In The Air Fryer:

Spray a piece of aluminum foil with some nonstick spray or use parchment paper to line the bottom of the basket in your air fryer.

Add the crab cakes in one layer and bake at 400°F. Bake for about 10 minutes for the 1/4 cup version or 15 minutes for the 1/2 cup version.

How To Serve Crab Cakes

I recommend serving these freshly made with a couple of wedges of lemons and some homemade coleslaw. You can also make a crab cake sandwich out of it by placing it inside a brioche bun or a hoagie roll topped with remoulade and some coleslaw for crunch.

Can You Reheat Crab Cakes?

Yes! Thankfully, crab cakes reheat very well and still hold their form the next day. They do need to be kept refrigerated until you are ready to eat them.

Toaster oven: The best way to reheat them is in a toaster oven or regular oven. Heat the oven to 325 degrees and reheat for about 10 to 15 minutes on a baking sheet. Add a little drizzle of olive oil or a small piece of butter to help the crab cakes to maintain moisture.

Saute: You can also reheat them in a saute pan over medium-low heat. Add a little bit of olive oil or butter along with a small amount of water. Place the crab cakes into the pan and cover with the pan lid to trap the steam. This will help make sure they heat up all the way through without drying them out.

Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe and with precise ingredient amounts.

Try These Other Amazing Seafood Recipes:

Crab Cakes

This crab cake recipe will become your go-to meal this summer! Enjoy these crab cakes on a freshly toasted bun, or pop them in your mouth on their own!

Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin
Course: Appetizer, Main Entree
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crab cake sandwich, crab cakes
Calories: 375 kcal
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 medium size crab cakes

Ingredients

Crab Cake Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp worscershire sauce
  • 1 lb lump crab meat (fresh, refrigerated is best)
  • 14 saltine crackers ground into crumbs

Crab Cake Sauce

  • 1 ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup mustard (Creole mustard if possible)
  • 1 Tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 to 2 tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • 1 tsp pickle juice (dill or sweet)
  • 2 tsp prepared horseradish sauce
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (preferably Tabasco)
  • 1 clove garlic minced or smashed

Instructions

  1. Make the Crab Cake mixture: Mix all ingredients except for the crab meat and crackers until well combined. Add the crab meat and carefully fold it in without breaking up the chunks of crab. Lastly, sprinkle the mixture with the saltine cracker crumbs and gently fold them in. Cover and refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours - this will allow the crab cake ingredients to bind together and hold shape when you shape/cook them.

  2. Prep: Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 450°F.

  3. Shape: Scoop out the mixture with a large ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup for mini crab cakes or 1/2 cup for large crab cakes onto the parchment-lined baking sheet pan. If using an ice cream scoop, pat down the top to flatten just slightly. Do not pat down if using a measuring cup. Brush the tops with melted butter for the best flavor.

  4. Cook:

    To bake in the oven: Transfer to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes for 1/4 cup crab cakes or about 15 minutes for the large 1/2 cup crab cakes.

    To bake in the air fryer: Spray a piece of foil that will fit inside the air fryer with nonstick spray or use parchment paper to line the bottom of the air fryer basket. Add the crab cakes in one layer and bake in batches @400°F for about 10 minutes for the 1/4 cup crab cake or 15 minutes for the 1/2 cup crab cakes.

Make the remoulade crab cake sauce

  1. Mix: Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed. The sauce be made ahead of time and refrigerated coverd until needed.

To serve

  1. Plate a couple crab cakes with a side of cole slaw and a spoonful of ramulade sauce over the crab cakes.

    Or, spread the ramulade sauce on a toasted and cut open hoagie roll or a brioche roll, then add 1 or 2 crab cakes and a good spoonful of a coleslaw.

Nutrition Facts
Crab Cakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 375 Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Fat 33g51%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 62mg21%
Sodium 948mg41%
Potassium 186mg5%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 700IU14%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 40mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Marina | Let the Baking Begin

Welcome to Let the Baking Begin! I'm Marina and my love and passion for eating only the most delicious foods drive me to share that love here on Let the Baking Begin (since 2009). With over 20 years of experience in the kitchen, you know the recipes are tested and retested until perfect. I'm so happy to have you here. Enjoy! Read more...

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