A Maryland Crab Cake Recipe made with jumbo lump blue crab meat, Old Bay seasoning, and a secret ingredient! They are a true Maryland staple.
These Crab Cakes require minimal hands on time and are ready and on the table in just under an hour.
In Maryland, picking crabs and eating crab cakes is practically a religion, and there is nothing better than jumbo lump crab meat made into a melt in your mouth delicious crab cake.
If you love Maryland flavors as much as I do, you’ll want to try these Old Bay Wings next!
Best Maryland Crab Cake Recipe
Growing up in Maryland, I spent a lot of time at the beach, loving the feeling of the sand and water on my feet, the smell of fresh seafood, picking crabs, and of course, eating crab cakes!
Truth be told, and you’d never know it now, but I used to hate Old Bay Seasoning as a kid (a sin, I know). I even went as far as to ask for my crabs to be washed because I thought they were soo spicy!
Fresh crabs can never truly be replaced, but do you really want to steam a huge (and live) blue crab in your kitchen? I don’t think so and this Maryland crab cake recipe is going to get you so close (if not better) than the crab shacks of Maryland.
Maryland Crab Cake Ingredients
Crab: for this recipe, you will need jumbo lump crab meat. If you live near the water like I do, this will be easier to find! However, for my inland readers/followers, I recommend scoping out your local fish markets or calling ahead to your local grocery store.
Herbs & spices: Old Bay seasoning is an essential ingredient to any authentic crab cake recipe and don’t forget the fresh parsley.
Crab Cake Sauce
Wet ingredients: Tartar sauce, you can sub with mayo if need be but you will lose a lot of flavor, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice.
Seasoning: Old Bay Seasoning is what makes this sauce so good!
Most crab cake recipes call for mayo. I use tartar sauce instead because it has so much more flavor.
*For a detailed list of ingredients and measurements, please reference the recipe card down below.
How to Make the Best Maryland Crab Cake Recipe
1. Prepare the crab mixture. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together Old Bay seasoning, parsley, baking powder, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay tartar sauce, egg, and lemon. Then add the crab and panko bread crumbs. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Bake the crab cakes. Preheat the oven to 425° F and form the crab mixture into 4 large, even sized balls. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Remove the crab cakes and preheat the broiler to high, broil for 1-2 minutes until golden.
3. Serve. Serve the crab cakes with lemon wedges and Old Bay tartar sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
Crab Cake Sauce
To make the sauce, whisk together the tartar sauce, Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce.
Remember when I said Maryland crab bakes are a religion? Well, Crab Cake Sauce is not far behind. Crab cakes and a delicious dipping sauce rank right up there next to air in my home state.
My advice, never skip out on the sauce, even if you don’t think you are a sauce person, this crab cake sauce is not only essential for delicious flavors, but for the whole authentic old bay crab cake experience!
Is it better to fry or bake crab cakes?
Frying vs baking is a very popular topic in the world of crab cakes. People are usually on one side or the other, but I prefer the baking method.
When you pan fry or sauté your crab cakes, they tend to become flat, like a burger I prefer thick pieces of lumpy crab and for that I recommend baking them. They will cook perfectly and remain lumpy and full of flavor.
Most Marylanders would call it a sin to fry a crab cake!
What is the difference between Maryland and Charleston crab cakes?
Maryland blue crab is sourced directly from Chesapeake Bay. Our “authentic” crab cake recipes always include Old Bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard.
In Charleston, their crab cakes also feature a lot of fresh jumbo lump crab meat, mayo, herbs (parsley, dill, etc.) and at times hot sauce or cayenne pepper to give it a good kick. Another noteworthy difference, Charleston crab cakes are almost always pan-fried/seared, never baked.
When is crab season?
In Maryland crab season usually starts in April and runs until December. However, if you are buying crab “off-season” and are wondering where it is coming from, it is more than likely coming from North Carolina and Louisiana.
Sometimes it might even come from oversees if there’s a crab shortage or they aren’t in season but are in high demand.
The most “traditional” time to eat crab, aside from all the time, is June through August. When you get towards the end of crab season, you can usually pick some up at your local fish market for a good price!
What goes with crab cakes for dinner?
Keep it simple; let your crab cakes be the star of the show! Below are some of my favorite side dishes to make when serving crab cakes for dinner.
More Seafood Recipes You Might Like
- Shrimp Pho Noodle Soup
- Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass
- Creamy Garlic Tuscan Salmon
- Hawaiian Shrimp Taco Bowl
- Salmon Cakes With Lemon Dill Sauce
- Best Air Fryer Fish Recipes
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Maryland Crab Cakes Recipe
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together Old Bay seasoning, parsley, baking powder, dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce, tartar sauce, egg, and lemon. Then add the crab and panko bread crumbs. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425° F and form the crab mixture into 4 large, even sized balls. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Remove the crab cakes and preheat the broiler to high, broil for 1-2 minutes until golden.
- Serve the crab cakes with lemon wedges and Old Bay tartar sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
Crab Cake Sauce
- In a small bowl, whisk together the tartar sauce, Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice, and worcestershire sauce.