Homemade Maryland Crab Cakes

Last updated on January 30, 2015 by Liza Hawkins

One of the traditions on my side of the family is having crab cakes at family gatherings. We hail from the east coast, and my mother’s side is from New England. We’re seafood people!I don’t remember why crab cakes became a holiday treat, but we seem to have them at a lot of special occasions throughout the year. Christmas brunch, Easter dinner, and birthdays. But, it’s not just any crab cake recipe. Nope, in Maryland you have…Maryland crab cakes.


Why exactly is the word “Maryland” important before the words “crab cake”? Crab cakes are listed on menus all over the United States, and if they’re considered a specialty item, typically they’ll be listed as “Maryland Crab Cakes.”

In fact, Maryland restaurants are very bold about the description of their crab cakes. They make it very clear that the only thing holding their crab cakes together is, well, more crab meat.

Because here, in Maryland, we are very intentional about having as little filler as possible in our cakes. Meaning, ingredients besides lump crab meat are next to none. We turn our noses up at anything other than our own style of crab cakes.

A little snobby? Yes. But, try one and you’ll understand. It only takes one bite.

So, how does my family make homemade Maryland crab cakes? Jumbo lump crab meat, with a little this and a bit of that. Cakes are formed, and then refrigerated for about a half-hour, then fried in a pan with a little oil until golden brown. Sometimes we eat them plain, other times it’s on a bun. Always served with tartar and cocktail sauces.

I planned on sharing the exact recipe, but then realized it might be something my grandmother wouldn’t appreciate. We’ll see if I can get permission….

Hi, I'm Liza — a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting lost in whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life and am always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect fizzy gin cocktail, and time to finish my novel!

4 Comments on “Homemade Maryland Crab Cakes

  1. Oh, you tease. And hear I was, waiting to hear how they’re actually made…I love me some crab cakes.

    Damn I could go for one right now. But do you know how hard it is to find a good crab cake in Indiana? Very. Hard.

  2. For some reason I thought you had posted the recipe. Darn it. I came searching for it b/c I wanted to make them this coming week. Let me know if you get the recipe. . .

    p.s. You must have thought I was an idiot when I told you “I’m making your crabcakes next week.” Whoops. . .

    Enjoy your Easter.

  3. @Lys – sorry! I misinterpreted your FB comment to mean YOU had a recipe that you were making this week, and I wanted to see it when you were done. LOL! Oh well. Good news though – I will be posting mine. 🙂

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