Classic Crab Cakes Recipe
Classic Crab Cakes Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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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
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 each: 282 calories, 22g fat (3g saturated fat), 85mg cholesterol, 638mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 14g 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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Susie77 User ID: 98373 228939
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."

mbritton User ID: 1832464 228254
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."

Ozarkagirl User ID: 5881259 228241
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."

annecooks User ID: 8360491 228233
Reviewed Jun. 20, 2015

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

micah68tlb User ID: 2474652 228232
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."

bobandmolly2 User ID: 6480347 228230
Reviewed Jun. 20, 2015

"I wouldn't give this recipe any fact I wouldn't even try it! What a terrible waste of crabmeat! I'm from Hampton, VA (Crabtown, USA) and we use only crabmeat, egg, mayonnaise, a little mustard and few breadcrumbs."

cooknful User ID: 5425312 228228
Reviewed Jun. 20, 2015

"Way too much bread crumbs, fresh jumbo lump should be used and never canned. Just use Old Bay Seasoning, no need for the hot sauce...I do like adding a few tablespoons of sweet red pepper and a little chopped the texture of it."

rebelwithoutaclue User ID: 4288906 228227
Reviewed Jun. 20, 2015 Edited Jun. 21, 2015

"I know Debbie is from Maryland but that is not a Md. crab cake. Way too many ingredients. Keep it simple and you just might be able to taste the crab. If you are trying crab cakes for the first time, do a little research. But keep it simple!

@ Ozarkagirl....If you are referring to me, yes I didn't make this recipe. Lump crab is very expensive and I would not waste good $ on something I knew would be underwhelming in flavor. Just trying to prevent others from making a mistake and thinking they are getting a Md. Crab cake. You might as well buy the frozen one's from the supermarket if you like the taste of filler."

gwink222 User ID: 7885880 228226
Reviewed Jun. 20, 2015

"Very good classic recipe but half the bread crumb is better. I like crab meat."

keverwann User ID: 1807985 67082
Reviewed Nov. 12, 2013

"These were very good with fresh crab and corn bread crumbs!"

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