This oven-baked crab cakes recipe skips the heavy oil but delivers a delicious flavor and texture. Big chunks of lump crab, a light cracker filler, and the authentic flavors of Old Bay seasoning make this crab cake recipe extraordinary!
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- Eggs: This is the binding ingredient for our crab cakes. It helps to hold everything together.
- Mayonnaise: This is another binding ingredient. It also helps us get the crispy outside and soft and creamy inside texture.
- Dijon mustard: This adds flavor to the crab cakes that is just wonderful!
- Worcestershire: More flavor! You'll notice that each of our flavor additions are in rather small quantities. That's because we want the crab flavor to be dominant. But these additional ingredients make it well balanced and amazing!
- Old Bay seasoning: I mean, can you even call it a crab cake if it doesn't have Old Bay seasoning? This spice was invented to season crab cakes. It is the perfect spice for this recipe.
- Salt: Just a touch here. We get additional salt from the crackers, so this ⅛ teaspoon just gives the mixture a little boost.
- Lemon juice: Adds acidity and balances the seasonings.
- Parsley: This adds a great freshness to the recipe. In a pinch, I have used also used cilantro and it was equally delicious! (Don't tell the Marylanders. I doubt they would call a crab cake with cilantro "authentic.")
- Crab: Use the freshest lump crab that you can find! I buy mine in deli section of my local grocery store. Fresh crab has a much different flavor and texture than canned, so please use fresh! But you don't have to shell out the big bucks for jumbo lump crab. Regular lump crab meat is flavorful and has a great texture that makes perfect crab cakes.
- Saltine Crackers: Our recipe just uses a small amount of filler. Some recipes call for panko crumbs, and others use bread crumbs. I like Saltine crackers because they add a good flavor and texture to our recipe.
How Do You Make Crab Cakes from Scratch?
Step One: Mix together eggs with seasonings.
- Whisk the eggs.
- Chop the parsley.
- Squeeze the lemon juice.
- Add those ingredients into the eggs, along with the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, and salt.
Step Two: Add the crab and crackers.
- Place the crab mixture right on top of the eggs. Then put the crackers on top of the crab.
- When you stir it in you want to be really gentle. Our goal is to keep the crab meat in big chunks! We want as few flakes as possible.
Step Three: Refrigerate your mixture.
- If you are wondering how you keep crab cakes from falling apart, this is the trick! Refrigerating helps all of the ingredients stay cohesively together.
- That means that these cakes can partially be made in advance! Cover the bowl, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Though they can be kept in the refrigerator for as much as 24-hours!
Step Four: Form the crab cakes.
- Grab a half-cup measuring cup and scoop out a portion of the crab mixture. Gently press the mixture into the cup. Be careful not to press too hard or your crab wil get too compact and the crab cakes will be dense.
- Turn the measuring cup over onto your baking sheet. Pat in any crab cake that is sticking out.
- Repeat for the remaining cakes.
Step Five: Bake
- That's right! These are oven-baked crab cakes, not fried. Baking our crab cakes keeps them nice and full, with a great texture!
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Grease your baking sheet. I prefer to use a non-stick spray, but you could also grease the pan with shortening.
- Brush the tops of each crab cake with melted butter. This gives them the fried flavor without actually frying them and also gives them a great texture on the outside of the cake.
What to Serve with Crab Cakes
These crab cakes can be enjoyed as an entree or as a side dish. If you are serving as an entree, two crab cakes equal one serving, whereas a side dish the portion size would be one. Here are some ideas of what to serve for your complete meal:
- Corn on the cob
- Side salad
- French fries
- Roasted potatoes
- Garlic Butter Pasta
- Rice Pilaf
- Cole Slaw
If you are serving wine, Prosecco, Sauvignon Blanc, or Sangiovese would be a great pairing!
Tips and FAQs
The outside of the crab cakes will turn golden brown when done. You can also use an instant read cooking thermomter. The internal temperature should be between 140-160 degrees.
Check out step 3 of the cooking instructions! Refrigerating for at least 30 minutes is the key to keeping your crab cakes from falling apart.
Crab cakes can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator prior to reheating.
To reheat your crab cakes, bake them at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 140-160 degrees.
Crab cakes can be made any size that you would like! You can cut the size down in half for an appetizer portion, or even use a 2 tablespoon scoop to make miniature crab cakes. Those are really fun for parties! The cooking time will be much shorter than with the large crab cakes. Cook them at 450 degrees until they are golden brown.
Related Recipes and Links
We enjoyed Oven-Baked Crab Cakes as a part of our Maryland state dinner. Here are a few other recipes you may enjoy.
Smith Island Cake
If you like this recipe for Oven-Baked Crab Cakes, please share it with your friends! And once you taste it, let me know your thoughts by providing a review.
Oven-Baked Crab CakesRecipe by:
- 2 eggs
- 2 ½ tablespoons real mayonnaise
- 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 pound lump crab meat
- ⅔ cup crushed Saltine crackers (about 14 crackers)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, salt, parsley, and lemon juice.
- Add the crab to the bowl, then the crackers. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the crab meat and crackers into the egg mixture, being careful to not break up the meat.
- Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to 24-hours.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray, or grease generously.
- Gently place filling into a ½ cup measuring cup, making sure it is filled completely. Lightly press on the filling to shape it into the measuring cup, but be careful not to compact the crab mixture too tightly. Turn the measuring cup over onto the baking sheet and carefully press in any pieces of crab that are sticking out.
- Brush the tops of each crab cake with melted butter. Then bake for 12-14 minutes. Serve warm with tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, or a squeeze of lemon.
Genius! I never knew you could have delicious crab cakes without frying them in oil, but these are so good! A little bit crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. So good!
Yes! I am so glad that this recipe was helpful to you and that you enjoyed the crab cakes!
Can Panko crumbs be substituted in place of saltines, and if so, how much?
Hi Marjorie! Yes, Panko crumbs can be used instead of crackers. It is an equal 1:1 substitution.