Easy Maryland Old Bay Crab Cakes

Making Old Bay Crab Cakes is Easy

Maryland crab cakes are super easy to make. If you use the freshest blue crab meat that you can get and a few simple ingredients, even a beginner can get great results making Old Bay crab cakes.

You can broil them, fry them, grill them, or put them in the air fryer.  Whichever you choose, they all start with the same basic ingredients.



Old Bay Crab Cake Recipe

These are the basic ingredients straight off the Old Bay Can.  

  • 2 slices of bread with the crusts removed
  • 2 TBSP of Mayo
  • 2 tsp of Old Bay
  • 2 tsp of Parsley Flakes
  • 1/2 tsp of prepared Mustard
  • 1 Egg Beaten
  • 1 lb of Crab Meat

There's nothing fancy on that list.  I do make a few changes when I make Maryland Crab Cakes.  You have to have filler so that they don't fall apart, but I use crushed saltine crackers instead of bread.  I put them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin or with my hands.  You want the crackers ground up fine with no big pieces.

The mistake many restaurants make is that they substitute filler for crab meat.  Who wants to bite into a crab cake and taste crab flavored bread instead of chunks of crab??? 

When mixing if the mixture seems a little dry, I add a little more mayo.

The recipe says to mix all the ingredients adding the crab meat last. I have always put it all in a bowl at the same time and mixed it with my hands.  Maybe that's an Eastern Shore thing.



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Cooking Homemade Crab Cakes

Once you have the ingredients mixed together, shape them into lumps, patties, or large balls. 

  • Fried - I find that if you're going to fry your cakes, you want a nice tight patty so pieces don't come apart while frying. Pan fry them in oil or in a fryer until they are golden brown.
  • Broiled - This is my husband's favorite way.  It's also a little healthier than frying.  Put them on parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray.  Broil for 10 minutes.  If you don't have a broiler, you can put them in the oven on 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until they are brown.
  • Grilled - I don't recommend putting them directly on the grill.  The crab cakes are flaky and will fall apart.  Put foil under them and spray the foil with cooking spray so they don't stick.
  • I have not tried doing them in the air fryer, but I have seen recipes that say the come out great!


Making Crab Cakes

If you're from Maryland, you know the Rules of a Good Crab Cake

  • Never order crab cakes at a restaurant in a land locked state.
  • Never order "Maryland Style" crab cakes. They will be loaded with filler, and it's probably not blue crab meat.
  • If you're making them at home, use REAL blue crab meat.  Don't waste your money on imitation crab.
  • Don't try to get fancy with the recipe.  Whether you like them broiled, grilled, fried, or in the air fryer, the ingredients are simple.
  • Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes DO NOT have peppers, onions, artichoke, or zucchini in them! Yes, I've seen recipes that call for that!
  • The only spices you need are Old Bay and parsley.  That's it!

The secret to a great crab cake is the simplicity of the ingredients, quality of crab meat, little filler, and Old Bay.  You should be able to see the crab meat.  It shouldn't look like a big flat chicken patty. YUCK!

How To Serve Crab Cakes

A delicious Maryland Crab Cake doesn't need fancy sauces. Most people I know (I'm on the Eastern Shore.) eat it with or without a bun, and basic condiments. Tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, ketchup, mayo, or an extra sprinkle of McCormick Old Bay Seasoning is all you need. 

The only place I've ever seen anyone add lettuce, tomato, or onion was in a restaurant.

More Crab Recipes



Looking for more crab recipes?  Check out this Maryland Hot Crab Dip Recipe from Housewives of Frederick County.

Crab dip is one of my family's favorites, and it's so easy to make.