Baltimore-Style Crab Cakes

Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures

This is the best crab cake recipe you will ever find. If you don’t overmix, and don’t pack your mounds too tightly, you will experience pure, unadulterated crab cake heaven. Seriously, they are that good. Follow the steps to the letter and you will be making these cakes every opportunity you have. For years I searched for a great crab cake recipe. I wanted one that didn’t have a lot of filler, had no minced red pepper, no parsley—none of the usual crap that chefs typically ruin a good crab cake with. There is, in fact, a right and a wrong way to cook some foods, and putting a lot of junk in a crab cake is one of the biggest transgressions I find in American cookery. Anyway, one night about 20 years ago, my best friend’s wife (who is from Baltimore) shared her mother’s secret "country club" recipe for crab cakes. This is it, verbatim. I make these in double batches and put the leftovers in the fridge. If you haven’t eaten a cold crab cake on toast with sliced tomato and Russian dressing, then you are really missing out.

I also make these as a master batch: Instead of just eight, I make 24 to 26 mini donut-hole-size crab cakes for parties.

Team these with homemade slaw, a warm potato salad and some fruit salad, and watch your family go to it like a swarm of locusts. Guaranteed.—Andrew Zimmern


Slideshow: Crab Recipes

Slideshow: Beach Shack Classics


  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat, picked over
  • 20 saltine crackers, finely crushed
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. <p>In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the egg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce until smooth.</p>

  2. <p>In a medium bowl, lightly toss the crabmeat with the cracker crumbs. Gently fold in the mayonnaise mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. </p>

  3. <p>Scoop the crab mixture into eight 1/3-cup mounds; lightly pack into 8 patties, about 1 1/2 inches thick. In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the crab cakes and cook over moderately high heat until deeply golden and heated through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the crab cakes to plates and serve with lemon wedges.</p>

Make Ahead

The crab cakes can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight.

Contributed By Photo © Stephanie Meyer Published June 2012

493099 recipes/baltimore-style-crab-cakes 2013-12-06T23:10:46+00:00 Andrew Zimmern frying|southern-soul-food|4 june-2012,Andrew Zimmern recipes,baltimore-style-crab-cakes 493099

Aggregate Rating value: 4

Review Count: 3445

Worst Rating: 0

Best Rating: 5

Author Name: Don Johnson

Review Body: I agree with your comments on how people ruin crab cakes today. But I live in Maryland and eat Baltimore crab cakes often and Mr. Zimmerman, it ain't authentic without a pinch of Old Bay Seafood Seasoning! 

Review Rating: 3

Date Published: 2016-06-18

Author Name: Dawn Seeley-Budacz

Review Body: In Baltimore we do not use hot sauce in crab cakes. We use Old Bay seasoning. And 20 crackers is alot, you should taste more of the crab meat, less filler. Alot of people just tear up 2 pieces of soft white bread without the crust. Most people don't fry them, they broil them at  400° for 25 minutes. Spray the tray with Pam first. You should enjoy the crab meat. Try eating it on saltine crackers with French's yellow mustard. Traditional!!

Review Rating: 4

Date Published: 2016-09-19

Author Name: JaeArmani

Review Body: Your friend's wife isn't from Baltimore if she don't use Old Bay seasoning, don't trust her.

Review Rating: 2

Date Published: 2016-08-30

Author Name: Stacy Wilson

Review Body: I have made Andrews recipe several times over and it always delivers!  I also add old bay seasoning and it makes this recipe perfect!!

Review Rating: 5

Date Published: 2016-09-03

Author Name: RazielT

Review Body: time to plan a trip to Baltimore.....!

Review Rating: 5

Date Published: 2016-06-19

Author Name: Sipra0002

Review Body: Would it work the same with crab lump?

Date Published: 2016-06-19

Author Name: rbm145

Review Body: These were great!!! Like most other people I added Old Bay, since I doubled the batch, I put in a tablespoon of old bay.  I broiled them. Until golden and everyone loved them!!!!

Review Rating: 5

Date Published: 2016-12-19

Author Name: Mavis055

Review Body: Simple yet looks really good! When it comes to crab cakes, less ingredients is better.. You do not want to take the flavor away from the sweet crab meat! Keep the recipes coming! Love it.

Review Rating: 5

Date Published: 2016-06-24

Author Name: Roderick Mellott

Review Body: Great base recipe for crab cakes. Agree with previous review about less filler and honest to goodness cannot call it a Maryland crab cake without Olde Bay.

Date Published: 2016-09-24

Author Name: Trish Gardner McClain

Review Body: Nope. This is no way a Baltimore crab cake. I grew up eating them right in my grandmother's kitchen in Baltimore. Most families there pass down the best recipe for these. Other posters have given you a tip in mentioning Old Bay seasoning, but this recipe is far from what someone from Baltimore would recognize. #alternatefacts

Date Published: 2017-03-18

Author Name: @GreenChefHat

Review Body: Is their any alternative to lemon I'm all out lol! I've used it to some of my other recipes.

Review Rating: 5

Date Published: 2016-06-24

Author Name: Tom Jensen

Review Body: This looks like a pretty decent crab cake recipe to me. The BEST can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. What do you like? That is the key. I like a little Old Bay, some parsley, and diced jalapeno instead if red pepper. It's not over powering like it sounds and gives good flavor with a small kick. Don't dismiss it until you try it but don't use too much. Most restaurants use way too much bread crumb. They are trying to control food costs but man does it take a away from a good crab cake. I think the flavor of crab is great but I think crab is a single layer flavor. One note. I believe it needs to be enhanced a little. It's like an egg. Eggs are good but add a little salt and they are great. But, I will put my crab cakes up against anybody's any day of the week. Because in reality most crab cake recipes are very similar. Coincidentally, I'm making a batch tomorrow for my mom's 80th birthday. I'm thinking about trying the ground shrimp as filler like America's Test Kitchen does, instead of bread crumbs or crackers.

Date Published: 2017-03-28

Author Name: DONNIE3809

Review Body: Ha! Twenty saltines??????? Talk about fillers!!! Worcheschire Sauce???? Eeeeee yuck 🤢! Go to Chesapeake Bay Area for scrumptious crab cakes and leave out Old Bay ( it's so 1970's in crab cakes but still essential on steamed blue crab 🦀 )!

Date Published: 2017-03-18

Author Name: leavelin

Review Body: I used to make these all the time!! I just love crabcakes. 

Date Published: 2016-10-04

Author Name: Melissa Chambers Ward

Review Body: I make a mean crab cake, thanks to Andrew's recipe, they are one the best ever!!!  I also gave it 5(five, 5!!!!!) stars. Not 1 star!!!!!!

Review Rating: 5

Date Published: 2016-07-24

Author Name: 21PixieSticks

Review Body: This is a Maryland pride!! Love your recipe!

Review Rating: 5

Date Published: 2016-10-04