Yummy Stuff: Maryland Crab Cakes


One of my best memories with my Pop Pop (my father’s father) was hanging out at the beach all day, then sitting down to a big dinner at his house with his fresh Maryland crab cakes, feeling exhausted and sunburned and smelling like the ocean. Summer always reminds me of this food, and as our North Carolina trip nears, I wanted to perfect Pop Pop’s recipe so that I can recreate this memory for my kids (and our friends).

The most important thing to remember when making crab cakes is to make the crab the star. Too many restaurants add tons and tons of other stuff to their crab cakes, making them mushy and frankly, disgusting. The key is, less is more. More crab meat, less other stuff. Keep it simple, because fresh crab is a real treat all by itself. Hope you enjoy!

P.s.- The below recipe makes about 4 cakes, enough to feed two people. We always double the recipe. A lot of crab comes in two-pound containers anyway. 


  • 1 lb lump or backfin crab meat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp mayonaise or veganaise (which I swear tastes so much better than regular mayo)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • dash of pepper
  • dash of cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 shakes worcestershire sauce
  • 12 Ritz crackers, crushed
For pan frying:
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (or 12 more crushed Ritz crackers)
  • 1 tsp of your favorite seafood seasoning (we like the Whole Foods brand San Francisco Bay seasoning)

Combine the top ingredients by hand, then form crab cakes (as large or small as you like). Allow to chill for an hour or two.

Heat olive oil or canola oil in a pan. Coat crab cakes in the panko or cracker crumbs + seafood seasoning. Once oil is hot, cook crab cakes until golden brown on each side, taking care when turning them. Serve with a generous wedge of lemon and corn on the cob, of course!DSC_0006

10 thoughts on “Yummy Stuff: Maryland Crab Cakes”
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  1. DYING for this for lunch! Thanks for sharing…the ritz crackers must make it extra special! Can’t wait to make it!

  2. Lauren,
    I love your blog! And your energy and creativity with three kids is inspiration when I’m exhausted with one!
    These crab cake sound devine. Love the ritz crackers. I have a great family recipe for baked stuffed shrimp, using ritz. Delish.
    Hope you’re well!

  3. When are you guys going to North Carolina? We are bummed about having to skip the trip this year. Jack talks about Pop Pop ALL the time; wish we could coordinate a trip there sometime!

  4. A conversation between Ben and I the day you left Baltimore:

    Ben: “Do I like crab cakes?”
    Me: “I think so.”
    Ben: “NO, I NEEEED you to TELL me if I like them b/c Lauren’s making them for me, and I NEED to KNOW if I like them!”
    Me: “Yes, you like them.”
    Ben: “Okay, GREAT.”

    Ben’s looking forward to your crab cakes : )

  5. I can’t wait to try this recipe, Lauren. I remember having crab cakes on the eastern shore with roasted corn on the cob, ripe tomatoes, oysters with horseradish and lemon and a sprinkle of Old Bay Seafood Seasoning. Maryland peaches with whipped cream for dessert… Ooops – drooled a little on my keyboard with the memories…..!!!

  6. We are such crab cake snobs that we won’t order them out anywhere. Having grown up on these, other ones just won’t do. We make them whenever we can find only the best crab meat. Enjoy your vacation!

  7. Alternate title: “I Have Crabs!”

    Kidding. Those look really great, and that’s saying a lot because I’m generally kind of squeamish about the shellfish creatures and avoid them. I would eat the heck out of those crab cakes.

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