Classic Crab Cakes Recipe
Classic Crab Cakes Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Classic Crab Cakes Recipe

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This region is known for good seafood, and crab cakes are a traditional favorite. I learned to make them from a chef in a restaurant where they were a best-seller. The crabmeat's sweet and mild flavor is sparked by the blend of other ingredients. -Debbie Terenzini, Lusby, Maryland
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
MAKES:8 servings
Quick Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
MAKES: 8 servings


  • 1 pound fresh or canned crabmeat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed
  • 2 to 2-1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup each chopped celery, green pepper and onion
  • 1 tablespoon seafood seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, optional
  • Lemon wedges, optional

Nutritional Facts

1 crab cake equals 282 calories, 22 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 85 mg cholesterol, 638 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 14 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, combine the crab, bread crumbs, egg, mayonnaise, vegetables and seasonings. Shape into eight patties. Broil patties or cook in a skillet in oil for 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with lemon if desired.
    Freeze option: Freeze cooled crab cakes in freezer containers, separating layers with waxed paper. To use, reheat crab cakes on a baking sheet in a preheated 325° oven until heated through.
    Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Classic Crab Cakes in Taste of Home August/September 1999, p31

Light-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a light-bodied white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

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Reviewed Jul. 4, 2015

"This recipe was excellent! I used opilio (snow) crab meat (and have the sore fingers to prove it). Left out the hot sauce. Substituted light Miracle Whip for the mayo. I only used 3/4 cup of bread crumbs because I prefer the cakes to be mostly crab. Had no problem with them holding together when fried."

Reviewed Jun. 20, 2015

"What is included in the seafood seasoning? Living in western NE we don't see a lot of seafood, but I would like to try this. May have to mix my own seasonings though."

Reviewed Jun. 20, 2015

"This is a very good recipe and I have made it many times over the years since it was first published in 1999 in TOH. I also substitute canned salmon for crab. The seasonings add to the flavor and since my husband likes fresh parsley and I have it growing in my garden, I double the amount. I would like to point out to the last five reviewers who obviously have never made the recipe that there is a big difference between using SOFT bread crumbs (slightly dried crumbled bread), versus packaged or homemade dried bread crumbs, which are a lot denser and make for a heavy cake instead of a lighter cake. It would be nice to see a little more cooking effort by some before reviewing something you've never made and giving a rating that means nothing. I really like the idea of using cornbread crumbs instead of bread for a different taste and texture and will try that next time."

Reviewed Jun. 20, 2015

"Two lbs. of crabmeat should be used if you're going to use 2 c of bread crumbs.."

Reviewed Jun. 20, 2015

"I agree that there seems to be a lot of bread crumbs. However, for someone on a budget, trying to stretch one lb. of crabmeat to make 8 servings, would be quite a feat. Also, not everyone lives along the coast where fresh crabmeat available, or even if it is, can afford it. I commend this cook for posting this recipe for that reason. Perhaps, though, the word "classic" is misleading because of the canned crabmeat. Since I have not actually made this recipe, I can only give it a medium rating, and I'm pretty sure that someone reading this will find fault with that, but that seems fair to me, seeing as I can't post this comment without giving a rating."

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