Easy Baked Crab Cake Recipe

Nothing says summer like fresh seafood. Crab cakes — a favorite, traditional American dish — check off so many culinary boxes. Depending on how they are prepared, crab cakes can taste sweet, a little bit salty, or a delightful combo of both. The patties may seem flaky, creamy, or buttery. But no matter the subtle differences, the carb-laden comfort food always turns out to be a delicious meal. Recipe developer Jamie Monkkonen of Vibrantly g-Free is from Maryland and takes the state's signature dish very seriously — as we all should! "I made this version a little different from the classic Maryland Crab Cake [which features Old Bay] with dill for a fun change," she says. "It's absolutely refreshing! They are also super easy to make at home, although I never would have guessed it before trying." Crab cakes are a fun meal to make when entertaining friends, and can be the main dinner or just an appetizer. This recipe is sure to be a family favorite.

When she says the dish is simple to cook, Monkkonen isn't kidding. The prep work isn't time-consuming at all, and once the baking sheet goes in the oven, you'll have tasty crap cakes 20 minutes later without any frying. The ingredient list includes basics that you probably have in your kitchen like an egg, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, dried dill, ground black pepper, table crackers, butter, and lemon. The only thing you'll most likely need to buy — because you'll want it fresh, of course — is lump crab meat.

Gather your ingredients to prepare these easy baked crab cakes

To start creating your crab cakes, you'll first need to round up all of the ingredients. You'll need an egg, 1 ½ teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of dried dill, ⅛ teaspoon of ground black pepper, 12 ounces of lump crab meat, 1 tablespoon of melted butter, and ½ a lemon, which you'll cut into wedges.

You'll also need ½ cup of crushed table crackers, an interesting derivative in this dish, since many crab cake recipes use breadcrumbs."There are two reasons I chose crackers," Monkkonen notes. "Breadcrumbs often have added flavorings that clash with the delicate flavors in this recipe, and cracker crumbs provide a crispier texture."

She advises that the texture is best with mostly crab meat and little filler. "The mayonnaise is important for texture, but the final tablespoon of butter brushed over the crab cakes can be omitted," she offers for those who are looking to save some calories. "It allows the top to get extra crispy, but is not a necessary ingredient."

Whisk the ingredients together

Your next step is to get started mixing. You'll want to use a large bowl since you'll require the room for all the ingredients. First, you'll create the crab cake "sauce," using the egg, 1 ½ teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of dried dill, and ⅛ teaspoon of ground black pepper. Mix everything thoroughly with a whisk.

Many crab cake recipes also include pickles, but Monkkonen's version opts out on this. "I would never put pickles in a crab cake, because the texture wouldn't be crisp," she says. However, she admits that pickles placed on top of your crab cakes  might be worth trying.

Finding the perfect blend of crab and crackers

Now it's time to add the 12 ounces of lump crab meat to the mixture. You can get this at the seafood counter of most grocery stores. While crab usually lasts up to three days in the refrigerator, Monkkonen recommends using it within 24 hours of purchasing and taking note of any "sell by" or "use by" labels that are on the container.

It's important to use lump crab meat for crab cakes for the ultimate kind of flavor and texture, she advises. "[It] is milder than claw meat and sturdier than backfin meat," Monkkonen says. This makes for a cohesive cake that melds nicely with the flavorings. In a pinch, canned crab meat can also be used to make the dish. "I made this recipe twice, once with crab meat bought from the seafood counter and canned premium lump crab meat," she says. "Both turned out excellent."

Then, top with the ½ cup of crushed crackers. Gently fold all of the ingredients together with a spatula. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes up to overnight.

Getting ready to bake your crab cakes

After the refrigerator works its magic binding the crab cakes together, it's time to get cooking. Preheat the oven to 450 F, then line a baking sheet with a silicon liner or grease generously so the patties won't stick.

You'll form the circles by gently packing the crab cake mixture into ½ cup. Transfer the mixture to your hands, and press it together to form a cohesive mound. Place this on the sheet and repeat for three more crab cakes. Gently brush the top of each mound with butter for an extra crispy crab cake, or if you prefer, you can let it go au naturale.

Get ready for a delicious seafood dinner

The crab cakes should bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the outside of them is golden brown and crisp. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top just before serving.

There are so many ways to turn the crab cakes into a dinner. You can pair with roasted or grilled vegetables. The patties also make an excellent crab cake sandwich with all that mayonnaise and fresh dill. Just add lettuce and tomatoes on top, in addition to a side of coleslaw or a freshly tossed arugula salad. 

The crab cakes can be stored for up to three days in the refrigerator, if there happen to be any left over. If you want to freeze the dish for a later date, Monkkonen recommends leaving the patties uncooked for up to three months. Then, they can be thawed in the refrigerator prior to baking. "This maintains the final texture, whereas I find freezing them after baking can make them mushy," she offers.

Easy Baked Crab Cake Recipe
5 from 23 ratings
Crab cakes are a fun meal to make when entertaining friends, and can be the main dinner or just an appetizer. This recipe is sure to be a family favorite.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
15
minutes
Servings
4
Servings
crab cakes with lemon slices
Total time: 20 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces lump crab meat
  • ½ cup crushed table crackers
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • ½ lemon, cut into wedges
Directions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the egg, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, dill, and black pepper. Mix thoroughly with a whisk.
  2. Top the mixture with lump crab meat. Add the crushed crackers on top. Gently fold the ingredients together with a spatula.
  3. Cover, and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with a silicon liner or grease generously.
  5. Gently pack a ½-cup measuring cup with crab cake mixture. Transfer the mixture to your hands, and press together to form a cohesive mound. Place on the baking sheet, and repeat for three more crab cakes.
  6. Gently brush the top of each mound with butter for an extra crispy crab cake.
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the outside is golden brown and crisp.
  8. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top just before serving.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 200
Total Fat 11.9 g
Saturated Fat 3.5 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 132.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 5.4 g
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
Total Sugars 1.0 g
Sodium 618.9 mg
Protein 17.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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