Maryland Style Crab Cakes

These Homemade Crab Cakes are made with jumbo lump crab meat, and very little bread crumb. They are super easy and super fast to make. Oh yea!! I can’t forget to mention that they are delicious.

In November of last year my mother retired from her job as a principal.  Her staff threw her a retirement party, and Jeremy and I went. The party was in New York, and quite fancy I might add 😊.

We decided to make a little trip of it. We drove up from Charlotte, and stopped in DC for a night, and Baltimore for another night.  Our reason for stopping in DC, was to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture. I had been dying to go since it’s opened, and hadn’t had an opportunity.  Side note the National Museum of African American History and Culture was amazing. We walked around in amazement of what we saw in the museum.  We learned a ton of stuff that we didn’t know before. If you’re planning a trip there, try for two days instead of one, and wear very comfortable shoes. I thought the shoes I chose were comfortable, until I stood on my feet and walk around them for 5 hours lol.

Our reason for stopping in Baltimore was just to have some good seafood. Lol. I have a cousin that lives in Baltimore and asked him to recommend a great spot for dinner.  I forget what we had for dinner, but we ordered crab cakes as an appetizer.  The crab cakes were incredible, they were seasoned perfectly, and not at all dry.   The pieces of crab were visible. I was very happy with the crab cake to say the least. 

After our trip Jeremy has been searching for a crab cake that would compare to the one we had in Baltimore. He’s had good crab cakes, but not as good as what we had.  So I knew I had to get to work in the kitchen.  Part of making a great crab cake is the crab you choose to use. 

Types of Crabmeat

There are two forms of crabmeat, whole crabmeat or picked crabmeat.  Whole crabmeat, is exactly how it sounds, it’s the whole crab. Which means if you buy whole crab, you could have to remove the meat yourself from the crab, taking off the legs, peeling off the plate, opening the body of the crab, and removing the lungs. Sounds like a lot of work for some crab cakes lol. However you could buy the picked crabmeat. In regards to picked crabmeat, there are many subcategories, which are grouped into about five categories. 

Colossal Lump and Jumbo Lump Crabmeat

Colossal lump and Jumbo lump crab are the two large muscles of the crab that are connected to their swimming fins.  Colossal and jumbo lump are great when eaten alone and just dipped in butter.  This isn’t a good choice for crab cakes because the seasoning of the crab cakes take over the delicate flavor of the meat, and the mixing of the ingredients could break up those nice chunks of meat. 

Lump Crabmeat 

Lump crabmeat is a combination of jumbo lump and chunks of body meat from the crab.  Lump crab meat is a great choice when making a dish where you want the to see the pieces of crab.  This is a great choice for crab cakes.  The chunks are large, and doesn’t require a lot of filler or binding agents to hold the meat together. 

Backfin Crabmeat 

Backfin crab is similar to lump crabmeat, but the chunks are broken a little smaller than the lumps in lump crabmeat.  Backfin crab would also work in a crab cake, but the pieces of crab are less visible. 

Special Crabmeat 

Special crabmeat are small flakes of white crabmeat from the body of the crab.  Special crabmeat would be used when you don’t need to see lumps of crab, maybe in a crab dip, a bisque or a crab salad. 

 Claw Crabmeat 

Crabmeat that comes from the claw has a pinkish-brown color, it is not white like the other types of crab meat previously mentioned.  Claw meat is very flavorful, and is great for soups, chowders, and crabmeat stuffing. 

What is a Maryland Crab Cake?

A typical Maryland Crab cakes is made with blue crabs because they are in abundance in the Chesapeake Bay area. 

Additionally Maryland crab cakes are pretty much just made with crab, an egg, and a little bit of bread crumb. Maryland crab cakes do not have any vegetables mixed in, no onion, garlic, bell pepper, no vegetables. Although I’m a sucker for caramelized onion, and went back and forth in my mind about whether I should add them to this recipe or not, I decided not to.  When making a Maryland crab cake you want to have the least amount of filler as possible, you just want enough to hold the crab cake together and that’s it. 

How to Make the Crab Cake

I used lump crab meat to make this recipe. You would also need some sort of bread crumb to bind the crab cake.  I used panko, but if you don’t have panko, you could use saltine crackers, regular bread crumbs (I would suggest plain, so the Italian seasoning won’t over power the Old Bay Seasoning) or you could even make your own bread crumbs. 

 To make this crab cake recipe you want to drain the crab meat.  I like to gently squeeze the excess water out of the crab meat with my hands, if you are going to do this you must be careful not to break the beautiful lumps of crab.  You could also just drain the meat into a fine mesh strainer.  In a small bowl, you want to mix the mayonnaise, Worcestershire, Dijon mustard, Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice, and 1 egg. The mayonnaise mixture should be mixed well, before pouring it onto the crab meat.  Add the breadcrumbs and mix a bit more.  Shape the crab mixture into 7 crab cakes about 1-1/2 inch thick.  Lastly heat butter on a skillet, and cook crab cakes about 4 minutes per side. 

Maryland Style Crab Cake

prep time 20 mins
cook time 10 mins
Makes 7 crab cakes


1 pound Lump Crab Meat
5 tbsp Mayonnaise 
1 tsp Worcestershire
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning 
1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice 
1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs 
1 egg 


  1. Drain crabmeat, and place crabmeat in a bowl. (Jumbo lump crabmeat will not have shells, but if you’re using a different kind of crabmeat, you’ll want to pick through it for shells.  Add bread crumbs to the crabmeat.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce.  Pour mixture over the crabmeat and gently mix. Do not over mix. The mixture should look somewhat loose. 
  3. Shape crab mixture into 7 crab cakes, about 1 1/2 thick.  Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the crab cakes to the pan.  Cook until dark golden brown on the underside, and then flip.  Cook crab cakes about 4 minutes on each side.  

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