How To Make Crab Cakes

How to make Crab Cakes Video – scroll down for recipe card

Here’s how to make crab cakes out of crab meat. These would be perfect little cakes if you were throwing a birthday party for a fish or a shark or a whale. Not such a great idea if the party is for a crab, but in that case you could just swap out the crab meat for drained canned tuna or salmon and make that little birthday-crab happier’n he’s ever been in his whole crabby little life.

If you want, you can add a tablespoon of pimientos or chopped red bell pepper for a color kick. Or you could use some minced onion or shallot instead of celery if you are one of those people I’ve heard about that hates celery for some reason. I don’t understand you, but I know you are out there.

Serve crab cakes with this simple homemade tartar sauce for extra fanciness.

Crab Cakes Recipe

Crab Cakes Recipe


Crab Cakes

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5 from 7 reviews

  • Yield: 2-4 1x


  • 8 ounces fresh picked or canned crab meat
  • 1/3 cup minced celery
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dijon or horseradish mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs for dredging
  • 23 tablespoons butter


  1. Look over the crab meat carefully to find any stray bits of shell.
  2. Saute the celery and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes until soft but not browned.
  3. Mix the crab, egg, vegetables, seasoning and 2 tablespoons crumbs together to make a soft dough.
  4. Form 4 patties and dredge well in crumbs.
  5. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or up to 6 hours to set.
  6. Melt butter over medium high heat and add the cakes.
  7. Fry 3 minutes until golden brown, then flip and reduce the heat to medium.
  8. Fry 3-4 more minutes.
  9. Serve with lemon wedges or tartar sauce

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Here’s my “patented” homemade tartar sauce recipe, too!


  1. Great Stone Face on March 5, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Homemade is always best. Homemade and from the heart is better than best. Day One: Our Son #3 planned to get up at dawn the next day to go crabbing with friends in the Chesapeake Bay. He had his trap and his chicken necks ready. I asked him to save some for me. Day Two: He was gone crabbing all the day. Day Three: I saw in the morning that he was snoring away in his bed. I went downstairs to get some breakfast. I opened the fridge to find a perfectly made crabcake. Not just made by our son, but made for me by him from a crab he’d caught himself. As i said above, better than best.

    • Hilah on March 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      That is so sweet! What a nice boy. That crab cake will never be beat!

  2. Sarah Antos on March 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I love crab cakes and this recipe is the best I have seen. Cannot wait to give it a try.Thank you.

    • Hilah on March 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      Thank you, Sarah! I hope you like them! 🙂

  3. tscarborough on March 6, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Fresh crabmeat is hard to find and expensive. I use redfish or any flaky white fish. Grill it just enough to flake, break it up and carry on with your normal recipe. ’tis good!

  4. Dominic Johnson on March 7, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Hey this recipe is mouth watering :). I’ll try it out 🙂

    • Hilah on March 8, 2012 at 9:59 am

      Thanks, Dominic! I hope you do!

  5. doeassspotter on March 18, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Flippin YUM! nuf said…..

    • Hilah on March 18, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      Indeed. 🙂

  6. Patrick on March 28, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I love your site and recommend it to all my cooking friends.

    I plan on making these tonight for my daughter – they look fantastic… just a little correction – in the ingredients you say garlic, but in the instructions you say onion…

    You’re the best, you always crack me up.

    • Hilah on March 29, 2012 at 9:13 am

      Thanks, Patrick! People like you keep this site going. We really appreciate you telling your friends.
      And thanks for the heads-up on the recipe typo. Hope you like the crab cakes!

  7. Keith on April 14, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Just found your website and videos yesterday. Going to try this recipe today. Love the basic recipes and techniques – just what I need. Thanks and best of luck.

    • Hilah on April 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      Thank you, Keith! Glad to have you here. I hope you enjoy the crab cakes!

  8. Tyler on July 20, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Just found your website (b/c of your AMAZING Chick-fil-Gay sandwich…made it already :D)

    I’m a bit obsessed, and I’ve sung your Crab Cake song 2ce to my boyfriend in the past week. It doesn’t get old!

    I’m in a really great mood! (because of you!)

    • Hilah on July 21, 2012 at 11:14 am

      Hi Tyler! And now I’m in a really great mood because of YOU! Thanks for writing! Hope you like the crab cakes, too. 🙂

  9. maryluz on March 4, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    you are a great hilarious chef! anyway, this is one of my favorite recipe!!!

    • Hilah on March 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      Thanks, Maryluz!!

  10. Robert on July 1, 2013 at 10:05 am

    This looks like an awesome recipe. I really want to try it, but I have no idea where I can get breadcrumbs here (currently living in Japan). Can the breadcrumbs be substituted with anything?

    • Hilah on July 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      Hey Robert! You can make breadcrumbs by pulverizing some toast in a blender or food processor. Or use cracker crumbs. Can you find Panko breadcrumbs? They are a large, coarse Japanese breadcrumb that we get here.

  11. Jessica on May 13, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    These look amazing, I am going to be cooking crab cakes for the first time in a few weeks for my boyfriend’s birthday, and I am ubber nervous as I have never done it before, thanks for making it look so easy! He likes a bit of kick in his so I am substituting celery for jalapeno, was wondering if you think this will totally ruin the cake? I am using canned crab meat, thank you!

    • Hilah on May 14, 2015 at 7:40 am

      Hi Jessica!
      Don’t be nervous, crab cakes are easy! If you want them spicy, you can definitely add some minced jalapeno. Unless your BF doesn’t like celery, I would keep the celery and add the peppers. You could also add several dashes of cayenne pepper, which goes really nicely with seafood.
      Another way to add some heat is in the tartar sauce. I love making this tartar sauce recipe with a couple tablespoons of chopped pickled jalapeno instead of the pickles.

  12. Russ Rybolt on July 8, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    I have made crab cakes before, but couldn’t find my old recipe. This one is very close. One variation that I love is oyster crackers crumbs instead of bread. I’m thinking of trading cilantro off for the parsley too. I’ll let you know if it works. Thanks.

    • Hilah on July 9, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      I’m so happy to hear that, Russ! Oyster crackers are a great idea for the binder.

  13. Julia on January 21, 2019 at 6:26 am

    Hello Hilah! I want to make crab cakes. Is mustard a must or I can skip it? Thanks.

    • Hilah on January 21, 2019 at 5:59 pm

      You can skip it!

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