If you love the “crab” in Maryland style crab cakes, this recipe is for you: minimal breading and a light sauce makes the crab meat the star of this dish.

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Maryland Crab Cakes with Berrue Blanc! If you love the "crab" in Maryland style crab cakes, this recipe is for you: minimal breading and a light sauce makes the crab meat the star of this dish. | HomemadeHooplah.com

About Maryland Crab Cakes with Beurre Blanc

So, the arrival of these Maryland crab cakes must mean I’m on a bit of a seafood kick this week, what with the sriracha cocktail sauce I posted the other day, but you know what?

Sorry not sorry, because I absolutely adore seafood.

I could probably eat it every day in one form or another, and because of this crustacean addiction, I’m always on the hunt for new ways to make my restaurant favorites at home. And today’s

And today’s latest culinary conquest?

Maryland style crab cakes.

I almost always order crab cakes as an appetizer (well, as long as shrimp cocktail isn’t available) and I’ve sampled just about every type there is, from heavy breading to heavy crab meat and heavy seasoning to heavy sauce. I appreciate them all in their own way, but I’ve definitely learned what my favorite types are… and also my not-so-favorites.

Now, I grew up with my mother making crab cakes at home, and they were okay – but they also had as much breading and seasoning as they did crab meat. I’ve found this to be pretty common (even from what you’d consider to be “fancy” restaurants), but over time I’ve found this isn’t my ideal way to enjoy a crab cake. I prefer crab cakes that are heavy on the crab meat and heavy on the delicious sauces. This is also a little ironic, since this is probably the only time an old friend of mine and I agree on the preparation of a meaty dish.

Usually I’m the one clamoring to add fillers and spices to our food, but in this case, I guess I just love the taste of crab meat too much to cover it up.

Another perk of this recipe:

It gives me a new use for my cast iron skillet!

I’ve been trying to use it more lately, and what better use is there for it than to sizzle some delicious crab meat?

Maryland Crab Cakes with Berrue Blanc! If you love the "crab" in Maryland style crab cakes, this recipe is for you: minimal breading and a light sauce makes the crab meat the star of this dish. | HomemadeHooplah.com

These crab cakes ended up being exactly how I love them in the restaurant: flavorful and slightly crunchy with the crab meat itself being the star of the dish. Most importantly, it didn’t taste like I was eating a bunch of breading (or “crab bread,” as I’ve come to think of it). The breading was almost an afterthought, which to me is the best type of crab cake. There should only be enough breading to hold the crab cake’s shape – any more than that and you’ve lost the taste of the crab.

Maryland Crab Cakes with Berrue Blanc! If you love the "crab" in Maryland style crab cakes, this recipe is for you: minimal breading and a light sauce makes the crab meat the star of this dish. | HomemadeHooplah.com

So as for how this recipe turned out? If you truly love the taste of crab meat like I do, then this is probably the only type of crab cake you can appreciate.

Final note: Now that I’ve found a quality crab cake recipe, I’ll probably be making it every week.

Or every other day.

Or tomorrow.

Or maybe I should just give in and head to the store right now.

notes & tips for these Maryland style crab cakes

  • I highly recommend you purchase fresh crab meat from a deli for this recipe. Yes, it will be a bit more expensive than canned crab meat. Yes, you might even have a little trouble finding a deli that carries it (I had to check two stores before I found some). But if you’re going to make a quality crab cake, this recipe deserves the extra effort and taste that only comes from fresh crab meat. It will make a world of difference in the taste.
  • Wondering why I don’t recommend canned crab meat? Mainly because in order to preserve it, the meat is loaded with salt. This is a necessary evil with all canned foods, and at the end of the day, it won’t impact the flavor too much – but it will still be a factor. If all you have on hand is canned crab meat, I would recommend increasing the breading in this recipe. I know, I know, I just spent a whole essay saying how crab cakes are better with less breading, but when using canned crab meat, a little extra breading will help mask the taste of salt. You can double the breading recipe and then use as much as you like.
  • If you don’t already own a trusty piece of cast iron, I highly recommend picking one up. A good piece of cast iron will last you ages. I still use (and love!) this reasonably priced 10-inch cast iron skillet.
  • Many will tell you that cast iron is hard to take care of, but I think the biggest challenge is just knowing how to do it. This post about the truth about cast iron has some great tips and tutorials!
  • In the mood for more seafood? Be sure to check out Sriracha Cocktail SauceSeafood Gnocchi with White Wine Cream Sauce, Seafood Stuffed Avocados, Garlic and Dill Seafood Bake, Spanish Chorizo, Shrimp, and Chicken Paella, Shrimp Scamp with Linguine, Honey Garlic Shrimp and Broccoli, Creamy Pesto Shrimp Pasta, and Italian Shrimp Bake.

Maryland Crab Cakes with Berrue Blanc! If you love the "crab" in Maryland style crab cakes, this recipe is for you: minimal breading and a light sauce makes the crab meat the star of this dish. | HomemadeHooplah.com

Recipe Details

Maryland Crab Cakes with Berrue Blanc! If you love the "crab" in Maryland style crab cakes, this recipe is for you: minimal breading and a light sauce makes the crab meat the star of this dish. | HomemadeHooplah.com
4.85 from 20 votes

Maryland Crab Cakes with Beurre Blanc

15 mins prep + 50 mins cook + 3 hrs Chilling Time
431 kcal
Yields: 6 crab cakes
If you love the "crab" in Maryland style crab cakes, then this is the recipe for you: minimal breading and a light sauce makes the crab meat the star of this dish.


Maryland Crab Cakes
Beurre Blanc


For the Maryland Style Crab Cakes
  • Drain crab meat and place in a medium bowl. Break it up with your fingers and pick out any shells.
  • Place crushed crackers and chives in the bowl with the crab meat and toss to mix.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, egg, dijon mustard, Old Bay seasoning, and worcestershire sauce. Pour sauce in bowl with the crab meat and mix together thoroughly.
  • Cover bowl and chill crab mix for 3 hours. When crab cakes are almost done chilling, make the Beurre Blanc (instructions below).
  • Remove bowl from the refrigerator. Using your hands, mix crab meat a final time, then scoop out and form 6 large crab cakes. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to broil on high. Make sure there's a rack placed 6-8 inches from the top.
  • In a 10-inch cast iron skillet (or other oven-safe skillet), add canola oil and warm over medium heat.
  • Add crab cakes to skillet and cook until the underside of the crab cakes are golden brown. This takes about 5-8 minutes, but be sure to check each crab cake every minute to be sure none are cooking too fast.
  • Remove pan from heat. Add 1 piece of sliced butter on top of each crab cake, then place pan in the heated oven on the top rack.
  • Broil crab cakes for 6-8 minutes or until the tops are browned to desired doneness. Keep a close eye on crab cakes so they don't burn.
  • Serve crab cakes immediately on a bed of Beurre Blanc sauce (instructions below).
For the Beurre Blanc
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, bring white wine, white wine vinegar, and shallots to a boil until the liquid is syrupy and is reduced to about 1-2 tablespoon (roughly 5 minutes).
  • Add heavy cream, salt, and white pepper to saucepan and boil for 1 additional minute.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and add butter to saucepan a few pieces at a time, whisking constantly, until all butter has been melted. Cook for an additional 1-3 minutes or until desired sauce thickness is reached.
  • Pour sauce through a sieve to remove shallots.
  • Pour sauce through a sieve to remove & discard shallots, then transfer finished Beurre Blanc to a serving bowl.


Serving: 1crab cake | Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 1019mg | Potassium: 202mg | Vitamin A: 635IU | Vitamin C: 5.9mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1.4mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I'm not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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Recipe Rating


    • Karin

    Your recipe looks really good. I love to make crab cakes, so will try it. BUT, will probably add some Old Bay seasoning because they aren’t really Maryland crab cakes without it.

    • True, Old Bay is a classic 😀

    • Michelle @ The Complete Savorist

    I agree with you completely on two of your points: more crab, less filler and fresh, not canned crab. These look utterly delightful.

    • Vicky @ Avocado Pesto
    • 5 stars

    Loooove crab cakes and definitely with you on the seafood kick (shrimp is my favorite food ever)! These look delicious and def agree on splurging on the non canned stuff, the fresh deli crab meat really does make a world of difference !

    • Thanks Vickey! Always nice to find someone else who appreciate *quality* seafood 😀

    • Shirley Worgo

    We love crab cakes with little breading. The recipe for Beurre Blanc sauce, now I have two questions: you have 2 cup tablespoonheavy cream “which amount is it?”, and 1 teaspoon pinch saltsalt “which should that amount be??? Also, is that supposed to be “sea” salt?? When I’m making seafood, I always like to use sea salt, it just seems appropriate. Thanks, Shirley

    • Hey Shirley, thank you for catching all of that! Looks like my recipe import wasn’t as flawless as I thought. I’ve made the corrections so that it should read correctly now. And the recipe was originally written for “regular” salt, but sea salt would be a perfect fit for this dish, too 😀

    • Kelley
    • 5 stars

    These look so delicious! I love seafood, especially crab- yum!

    • Dee Dee (My Midlife Kitchen)
    • 5 stars

    I am with you on using REAL crab. And after living on the East Coast a couple different times, this is one of the dishes I HAVE to order when I’m back in the area. You just can’t get them the same way, unless you make them yourself, of course! Yours have me salivating at the pictures already! Time to get cookin’!

    • I’m the same way! Crab cakes are always best when they have access to the good stuff 😀 It’s one of the things I miss from living in Virginia.

    • Susan | LunaCafe
    • 5 stars

    Whoa, these look amazing. I love that you held back on the breading. Crab Cakes should be all about the crab. Just wish I had a few of those right now. 🙂

    • Rae
    • 5 stars

    I have a similar crab cake recipe (but the chives are a new thing so will do that!) but the sauce sounds divine and is a definite must-try next time the hubby goes out crab fishing (which of course didn’t happen here thanks to El Nino!

    • Aww, bummer about El Nino! Maybe next year 🙂 But yeah, the sauce is subtle enough that it doesn’t overpower the crab. Because why have crab cakes if you’re going to cover up the crab, ya know?

    • Julie @ Texan New Yorker
    • 5 stars

    Gorgeous!! I haven’t made crab cakes in forever, I need to correct that asap!

    • Rocio Chavez (@yoursassyself)
    • 5 stars

    OMG they look amazing and a recipe after my own heart. I’m such a fan of crab meat, that I know I’ll love this when I make it. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Thanks Rocio 😀 If you make the recipe, I hope you like it!

    • jennyb
    • 4 stars

    Never had crab cakes but I love crab so I think I’d love these. They sound amazing. Must pin for when I feel like cooking.

    • Crab cakes are definitely worth trying at least once 😀 If you do, I hope you love them as much as we do!

    • Shadi
    • 4 stars

    I have never had crab cake, but the way you described it…I need to make this one asap!

    • They’re totally worth trying 😀 I’d love to hear what you think if you do!

    • Carol Borchardt
    • 4 stars

    LOVE a good crab cake! Can almost taste that sweet crab looking at these!

    • Nicole
    • 5 stars

    I recently moved from Maryland to Colorado and the one thing I miss the most (besides family and friends…) is my seafood. Born and raised in MD, I’m quite partial to blue crab and haven’t found anything in the stores out here that really compares. Costco has been the best so far, but not the same.

    • I know exactly where you’re coming from – I grew up a few miles south in Virginia. Nothing ever seems to compare. But at least it’s something else to look forward to when you make trips back home 😀

    • Denise Wright
    • 5 stars

    Oh my this looks so good. I love crab cakes but I’m afraid to make them. Thanks for the recipe!

    • I was nervous about it, too, but these turned out to be quite easy 🙂 I hope you get a chance to try making them!

    • Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    • 5 stars

    It has been too long since I had a great crab cake. These look awesome. Just wish I lived closer to the ocean…having to rely on the supermarket to (so called) fresh seafood is a challenge. Perhaps a trip into the city to the fish market is in store!!

    • Very true – you never know exactly what you’re getting even when it’s labeled “fresh.” I’m in a landlocked state so it’s hit or miss at times. Hopefully you can find the good stuff at the fish market!

    • Esther @ The Cuteness
    • 5 stars

    These look SO delicious! Great recipe, crab cakes are one of my favorite things ever.

    • Heidi
    • 5 stars

    Thank you SO much for the recipe… I love crab cakes, but have never made them at home yet!

    • Lauren
    • 5 stars

    This looks so amazing.. I love crab cakes but I dont know if I would ever have the guts to make these myself.. but I will pin in case I am ever feeling motivated! 😉

    • Crab cakes are surprisingly easy 😀 Hope you get a chance to make them!

    • Becky @ Disney in your Day
    • 5 stars

    Yummm, this sounds so amazing. I love crab. Thanks for sharing!