Simplest Maryland Crab Cakes

by Debra Wysopal

I am a crab cake purist. I do not like onions, peppers, capers or anything but rich, lump crab in my cakes. Easy and decadent, you can make these in under 20 minutes, allowing an hour to chill before a quick sear and into the oven. I serve these for brunch with a simple salad but you can easily do these for a weeknight dinner in a snap.

Simplest Maryland Crab Cakes

Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 2 voted )


  • 1/2 cup Hellman's Mayonaise
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of hot sauce
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat, picked over (will say on label)
  • 20 saltine crackers, finely crushed (I run mine through a food processor)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or Clarified Butter (ghee)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Old Bay (optional, see note)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the egg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce until smooth.

In a medium bowl, lightly toss the crabmeat with the cracker crumbs. Gently fold in the mayonnaise mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  I've left them to chill overnight for easy brunch prep the next morning, so this is where you stop if you are making ahead.

Scoop the crab mixture into eight 1/3-cup mounds; using the back of a spatula lightly pack into 8 patties, about 1 1/2 inches thick. In a large skillet, heat the oil or butter until shimmering. Add the crab cakes and cook over moderately high heat until deeply golden and heated through, about 1 minutes per side to get golden then transfer to baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.  Alternatively, you can just continue to cook them in the pan for 3 minutes a side until done. 

Transfer the crab cakes to plates and serve with lemon wedges.


If a crab cake is not a crab cake to you without Old Bay, then have at it. When mixing wet ingredients add 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of Old Bay Seasoning for a little more kick.

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