14 Crab Cake Recipes to Try at Home

Baltimore-Style Crab Cakes
Photo: © Greg DuPree

Making your own crab cakes might sound intimidating, but this popular dish is actually easy to pull off at home, regardless of which coast your crabmeat comes from. Here are our favorite crab cake recipes to inspire you — from classic Maryland-style crab cakes to spicy Keralan crab cakes with mint chutney — as well as faux crab cakes and crab balls.

01 of 14

Crispy Crab Cakes with Tomato Butter

Crispy crab cakes with tomato butter
Jennifer Causey

The late chef Patrick Clark's crab cakes at Tavern on the Green are legendary, taking on a pop of flavor from chopped fresh jalapeño and a crispy exterior from panko. Chopped whitefish provides the structure in these crab cakes, offering more flavor and a richer texture than traditional binders like breadcrumbs.

02 of 14

Keralan Crab Cakes with Mint Chutney

Kerlan Crab Cakes with Mint-Chutney
Charles Thompson

Padma Lakshmi created this recipe to meld an American classic with the hot and tangy flavors of her native Kerala. Since crab dishes are abundant in South Indian cuisine, the marriage is a happy one. She liberally uses hot green chiles; shredded coconut gives the dish a South Asian twist, and dried mango powder adds sourness.

03 of 14

Louisiana Lump Crab Cakes

Cajun Crab Cakes Recipe | Mosquito Supper Club
Denny Culbert

"My aunt Christine taught me how to make crab cakes over the phone," chef Melissa Martin writes. "And what I learned is that you can use leftover boiled shrimp as a binder instead of breadcrumbs. When you grind shrimp in a food processor, it becomes sticky, and just a small amount will hold crabmeat and smothered vegetables together well enough to form into patties."

04 of 14

Crab Cakes with Smoky Onion Remoulade

Crab Cakes with Smoky Onion Remoulade
© John Kernick

Smoky onion remoulade is a terrific accompaniment to these crab-studded cakes from Marc Forgione at American Cut in Manhattan. At the restaurant, he smokes onions, but the sauce is also great made with charred onions and seasoned with smoked salt.

05 of 14

Baltimore-Style Crab Cakes

Baltimore-Style Crab Cakes
© Greg DuPree

With minimal filler ingredients, these quintessential Baltimore crab cakes shine with pure crab flavor. In 2018, Food & Wine named this recipe one of our 40 best: "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," chef Andrew Zimmern says. "Seriously, they are that good."

06 of 14

Crab Cakes with Horseradish Cream

Crab Cakes with Horseradish Cream
© Karen Mordechai

Lump crabmeat is mixed with only enough breadcrumbs and mayonnaise to hold it together, then coated with more crumbs and fried to a golden brown. A mixture of sour cream and horseradish provides a lively accompaniment.

07 of 14

Maryland-Style Crab Cakes

Maryland-Style Crab Cakes


These luscious crab cakes are proportionally perfect: heavy on glorious hunks of crab, light on breadcrumbs. And instead of frying the cakes, Baltimore chef Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen serves them "brold" (Baltimorese for "broiled," he says). "I can't overemphasize how important it is to use fresh, carefully processed meat from blue crabs," he adds.

08 of 14

Crab Cakes with Lemongrass Mayonnaise

Crab Cakes with Lemongrass Mayonnaise
© Michael Weschler

Though chef Hans Röckenwagner makes homemade mayonnaise for this recipe, you can substitute 1 1/4 cups of jarred mayonnaise blended with a tablespoon of minced lemongrass, from the tender white bulb, and a teaspoon of finely grated ginger.

09 of 14

Crisp Cayenne-Spiced Crab Cakes

Crisp Cayenne-Spiced Crab Cakes
© Lucy Schaeffer

Growing up in Silver Spring, Maryland, cooking-club member DeeAnn Budney attended all-day Chesapeake blue crab feasts organized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Now that she lives on the West Coast, she makes these fantastically spicy crab cakes with sweet Dungeness crab meat, but either kind works.

10 of 14

Spicy Crab Cakes with Mango Puree

Spicy Crab Cakes with Mango Puree
© Dana Gallagher

When making crab cakes, it's customary to keep the crabmeat in chunks. Here, it's best to break up some of the meat to keep the crisp patties together.

11 of 14

Crisp Crab Cakes with Chipotle Mayonnaise

Crisp Crab Cakes with Chipotle Mayonnaise
© Seth Smoot

These amazing, light, and simple crab cakes are bound with fish, not cracker crumbs, for a deep seafood flavor.

12 of 14

Crabless Cakes with Hearts of Palm and Corn

Crabless Cakes with Hearts of Palm & Corn
© Con Poulos

That's right, these are faux crab cakes! When chopped, hearts of palm break down into shreds that look like fresh crab meat. Here they get seasoned with Old Bay, vegan mayonnaise, and Dijon mustard for a sensational main course.

13 of 14

Crab Balls with Grapefruit Salad

Crab Balls with Grapefruit Salad
© Tina Rupp

The crab and grapefruit in this dish first appeared at the restaurant Spice Market tossed with cold glass noodles. Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten decided it was a "messy pile," but liked the flavors, so he reconfigured them into crab balls rolled in panko and sesame seeds.

14 of 14

Blue Crab Beignets

Blue Crab Beignets
Greg DuPree

Here, beignet batter thinly coats a creamy, warm crab filling with a crisp, light crust. The batter, which includes amber lager, is loose and can be tricky to shape at first; keep frying and practicing — your beignets will improve with each batch. These are ideally eaten while still very hot, so make them while enjoying aperitifs in the kitchen.

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