Maryland Crab Cakes

overhead shot of a platter with crab cakes and lemon wedges on top

5 from 6 reviews

This easy recipe for authentic Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes is seasoned with Old Bay, has barely any filler and can be made in less than 45 minutes! 


  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 scallions, green parts only, very thinly sliced
  • 8 saltine crackers, crushed into crumbs
  • 1 lb jumbo lump crabmeat, carefully picked for shells (but leave lumps intact)
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, plus more as needed
  • cooking spray (only if baking)
  • lemon wedges and cocktail sauce, for serving


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, mayonnaise, Old Bay, mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce and scallions.
  2. Add the crushed saltine crackers and mix until well combined.
  3. Add the crabmeat, then use a rubber spatula to gently mix, being very careful not to break up the lumps.
  4. Use a 1/2 cup measuring cup or ice cream scoop to portion out 8 even mounds of the mixture.
  5. Use your hands to gently pack them together to form a cake, but don't pack too tight. Set the cakes on a sheet pan, then cover with plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

To Pan Fry:

  1. When ready to cook, heat 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add as many crab cakes as will fit in the pan without overcrowding (4 is usually good).
  2. Cook for about 3 minutes or until golden brown, then flip and cook on the other side. Add more butter if needed and repeat with the remaining crab cakes.
  3. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce on the side. 

To Bake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees or 425 degrees for a convection oven. 
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray to prevent sticking, then place the crab cakes on top, leaving at least 2-3 inches of room between each one. 
  3. Melt the butter and spoon it over each crab cake. 
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden on top. 
  5. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce on the side. 


  • Take extra care when picking through the crab meat to remove all shells as to not break up any lumps in the process.
  • Make sure all of the ingredients are well mixed before adding the crab.
  • It's important to use a delicate hand when mixing the crab meat into the other ingredients, especially if you're using jumbo lump crab meat. You paid all that money for the big lumps so make sure you don't break them up while mixing! 
  • Once formed, the crab cakes need to chill for at least 30 minutes before cooking to ensure they hold up and keep their shape - don't rush this step. 
  • An ice cream scoop is a great way to portion the crab cakes if you have one about 1/2 cup in size. 
  • This recipe is for lunch or dinner entree sized crab cakes, but you can reduce the size by half to a quarter to make appetizer crab cakes. It's best to bake smaller crab cakes, as they don't hold up as well to frying. Reduce the baking time by half. 
  • I used to always fry my crab cakes but lately I have come to prefer the texture of them baked. They are great either way!


Keywords: old bay seasoning, crab cakes, maryland crab cakes