Classic Maryland Crab Cakes Recipe

When we think of this recipe for classic Maryland crab cakes, we can't help but of the line in "Wedding Crashers" when someone shouts "Crab cakes and football, that's what Maryland does!" This recipe for classic Maryland crab cakes is just what you need to satisfy your craving. Who said you need to go to a restaurant to get crab cakes when you can make them in the comfort of your own home? This recipe is excellent for several reasons. It requires few ingredients, takes little time to make, and tastes oh-so-good. What more is there to ask for?

Jaime Shelbert of Wholly Nourished is the brains behind this recipe that is sure to be a new favorite. She shares that she loves how close it hits to home. "I love these for the nostalgia aspect. I grew up in Maryland eating simple crab cakes without a lot of filler so that the Maryland crab flavor really shines, she shares. "These are just like them. Simple ingredients. Big on crab flavor." Now let's get started making this delightful dish.

Gather the crab cake ingredients

This recipe does not require many items, which is great for your wallet and grocery list. All you need to get are saltine crackers, an egg, and half and half or heavy cream — whichever you prefer. The recipe also calls for a few sauces, including Worcestershire and dijon mustard. To complete your list, you also need jumbo lump crab meat and butter. If you're lucky, you may have a few of the ingredients at home already as these are all pretty common things. 

Once you have everything out in front of you, it's time to begin cooking. 

Prep the baking sheet

First, turn your broiler to 400F. Then, get out a baking sheet of your choice and line it with either parchment paper or Silpat to make sure nothing sticks. Spray the pan lightly with nonstick spray as another layer of added protection. We really want to be sure that none of the crab cakes stick to the pan because we don't want them wasted.

In the meantime, take out your food processor and toss in your saltine crackers. Pulse them until they turn into fine crumbs. If you don't have a food processor, no worries — you can also crush the saltines with your hands or put them in a Ziploc bag and crush them. 

Mix the egg

Once the saltines are finished, you can set them to the side because you will need them in a few minutes. Now, it's time to get out a mixing bowl. A small one will do the trick as there's not much to mix here. Crack the egg into the bowl and then add in the half and half or heavy cream. At this point, you can also add the Worcestershire sauce, and dijon mustard. Show off your arm muscle and whisk well until everything is blended together. 

Now, it should begin to look more like a creamy and delicious sauce. 

Prep the crab

For this step, get out another medium-sized mixing bowl and place the crab meat in it. If you need to drain excess liquid for the crab meat, you can do so now either with a strainer or just by pouring it out into the sink. Add the crackers to the bowl with the crab and stir gently until all the crab is coated with crackers.

Next, pour the wet ingredients over the crab mix. Fold it in with a spatula until everything is incorporated. Now, your mix is ready to go. Only one more step until they're ready for the oven! 

Form the crab cakes

Here comes the fun part — forming the crab cakes. Fill ⅓ measuring cub with the crab mixture and turn it onto a baking sheet. Depending on how tightly you put the crab in the measuring cup, it should make about 7-8 crab cakes. Then, top each crab cake with a little pat of butter. Butter not only helps it taste delicious, but it will also help it brown the tops of the crab cakes perfectly. 

Now, it's time to stick them in the oven. Make sure your oven is hot before you put them in. 

Bake and serve the classic crab cakes

Take your baking sheet and put it under the broiler. Set your timer for 10 minutes and cook until the crab cakes turn golden brown. You can plate these however you choose, and Shelbert recommends serving with a lemon wedge. Tartar sauce is another great addition for dipping or placing a dollop on the top of each crab cake. If you really want to go all-in, consider making a remoulade sauce

As for sides? "In my opinion, the best side for crab cakes are Old Bay french fries," Shelbert says. "They also pair well with a green salad and roasted potatoes." If you have leftovers, Shelbert recommends re-heating in the oven as opposed to a microwave. 

Classic Maryland Crab Cakes Recipe
5 from 75 ratings
This recipe for classic Maryland crab cakes is just what you need to satisfy your craving
Prep Time
Cook Time
crab cakes
Classic Maryland Crab Cakes on plate
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 14 saltine crackers
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoon half and half or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into 8 pats
  1. Set broiler to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat. Spray lightly with nonstick spray.
  2. Place saltines in a food processor and pulse to a fine crumb. Alternatively, crush with your hands. Set aside.
  3. Crack the egg into a small mixing bowl. Add the half and half, Worcestershire sauce and dijon. Whisk well.
  4. Place the crab meat in a medium mixing bowl (drain first if necessary). Add the crackers and stir gently until the crab meat is coated.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients over the crab mixture. Fold with a spatula until incorporated.
  6. To make the crab cakes, fill a ⅓ cup measuring cup with the crab mixture and turn out onto the baking sheet. This will make 7-8 crab cakes depending on how tightly you pack the crab mixture. Top each crab cake with a pat of butter.
  7. Place under the broiler for 10 minutes until golden. Serve with a lemon wedge.
Calories per Serving 96
Total Fat 3.4 g
Saturated Fat 1.6 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 83.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 4.3 g
Dietary Fiber 0.2 g
Total Sugars 0.3 g
Sodium 393.1 mg
Protein 11.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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