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Maryland Style Crab Cake Recipe (Ritz Crackers)

5 from 1 vote

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This Maryland style crab cake recipe with Ritz crackers is easy to add to your weeknight menu. I’ve incorporated lump crab meat, seafood seasoning, mayo, crushed Ritz crackers, all cooked in buttery deliciousness. This is an easy pan fry recipe and you can top it with bacon or a simple tartar sauce. I love making these for lunch or dinner. Nothing better than a homemade crab cakes.

Crab Cake BLT in the photo. Mary style crab cab incorporated into a blt.

Maryland Style Crab Cake BLT

Why you will love this recipe

I love making these Maryland style crab cakes because it’s fresh and my kids will actually enjoy it. Crab cakes can seem intimidating to make but they’re very simple to make and they always come out with great fresh flavors.

On a trip to Maryland, our family enjoyed crab cakes at every single restaurant we visited. We tried ones that were big and ones that were small. All of them had the same similar flavors of Maryland and that is why I was excited to bring back this recipe that I put together. Maryland crab cakes are the best around.

What ingredients are in this easy crab cake recipe?

Base Ingredients

  • Lump crab meat: I like to use jumbo lump crab meat from the seafood section. You can also use canned lump crab meat. If that is all that is available to you. The fresher the better. Take care to smell your crab meat to make sure that it is fresh and not spoiled. If you can find Blue crab meat or are in Maryland that is the BEST option!
  • Ritz crackers; Ritz or any other type of buttery crackers is perfect for this recipe, it helps as a binder and it also gives it a little bit of a buttery flavor throughout the crab cake. You can also use saltine crackers or townhouse crackers.
  • Mayonnaise; You can use mayonnaise or miracle whip in this recipe. I like to use a miracle whip because that’s my family’s preference, but either one is great.
  • Dijon mustard; I like to use Dijon mustard that does not have the seeds. The mustard gives it a nice zip a flavor in the crab cake. You can sub, Dijon mustard for 1tsp of lemon juice

Optional Ingredients

  • Red and green diced peppers; I had diced peppers because they give a little bit of crunch and a nice sweet flavor to the crab cake. As well as offering another vegetable.
  • Egg white; acts as a binder. You can make the crab cakes without egg though. If you decide to make it with no eggs, you may need to add more crackers and mayo to get everything to bind together so they don’t fall apart when you cook them.
  • Old Bay; One of my favorite spices to add because it gives a little spice and a great salt layer. I love using Old Bay on seafood, especially for that Creole flavor. 
  • Worcestershire sauce; Adds a rounded flavor profile to the crab cake. I like adding this into a crab cake but sometimes I leave it out. It’s just your preference.
  • Unsalted Butter or olive oil; I’m all about the butter baby! I love to cook my crab cakes in butter and they get this nice golden brown crust on them. If you don’t want to use butter, you can use olive oil. The crust might brown quicker and not look as light in color and they might cook a little bit quicker. The perfect combination would be to use a little bit of butter and a little bit of olive oil. This combination will level out the heating temperature of the olive oil and the butter is still available for that rich flavor.
Over head photo of all ingredients separated into bowls for crab bakes.

This recipe calls for ritz crackers but, use which ever buttery crackers you have on hand.

How do you make this Maryland crab cake recipe with Ritz?

  1. To a medium sized bowl add your fresh lump crab meat.
  2. Crush your Ritz crackers by hand or by a rolling pin in a Ziploc bag. You can to create cracker crumbs.
  3. In a medium bowl add the crab meat, crushed crackers, bell peppers, seasoning, egg whites, mayo, mustard. Mix well until combined. This is your crab cake mixture.
  4. Using your hands shape crab mixture into 8 patties. If you notice that the patties are not binding together, this is the time to add either more crackers or more mayo. If they look dry add more mayo, if they look wet at a few more crackers.
  5. Heat your frying pan to medium-high heat. Add butter or olive oil and melt butter. You could also use 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
  6. Once your skillet is hot and the butter is bubbly, add your crab cakes. Spread them evenly throughout the pan.
  7. Cook crab cakes for about 4 minutes, check to see that the crab cake is golden on one side. Flip carefully, I like to use a fish spatula for this process.
  8. Once the crab cakes are golden on each side, remove them from the heat.
  9. Eat your crab cake hot and enjoy! 
Over head photo of all ingredients for a crab cake and BLT. Separated into bowls.
Prep your ingredients first. This will help speed up the cooking process.
Crab cakes in a skillet with butter. The beginning of cooking stage.
Place Cakes in Skillet about 1 in apart. Cook on Medium-high heat
Golden Brown crab cakes  in skillet after being flipped.
Flip Cakes when Golden Brown on each side.

Tips for Success

  • Keep your burner at medium heat for the second half of the cooking process. This will make for even browning.
  • You can make smaller crab cakes. It just depends on your usage at the end of the process.
  • Add seasoning as needed. If you do not want to use the seafood seasoning, make sure to add salt and pepper.

What goes well with crab cakes?

  • I like to create a Crab Cake BLT. Very simple, after you’ve made your crab cakes toast your brioche bun. Add your favorite topping like spicy sriracha mayo, bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato.
  • Tartar sauce; an easy tartar sauce recipe would be to combine, mayo, pickled relish and a little Old Bay. 

Substitutions

  • For Mayo; In place of mayo or miracle whip, you can use Greek yogurt. It may not bind everything together as well, but if you have a dairy allergy it’s a great substitution.
  • For Crackers; I have used this recipe with breadcrumbs before, it doesn’t leave the buttery flavor of Ritz crackers, but it is a substitute if that’s what you have on hand or if you like that texture.

Frequently asked questions

Can you prepare crab cakes ahead of time?

The crab mixture can be prepped ahead of time. Lay the crab cakes on a cookie sheet and cover tightly or put them in an airtight container. I would not leave them in the refrigerator for longer than 2 days.

What to do with leftover crab cakes?

Crab cakes can stay in an airtight container for up to 3- 5 days. You can also vacuum seal them and freeze them for up to 6 months.

How do I reheat my crab cakes

I find it best to reheat your crab cakes in an oven set at a low heat around 350°. Let them come to room temperature before sticking them in the oven. Take care not to cook them too long so that they don’t dry out.

Other ways to prepare your Maryland Style Crab Cakes

  • Bake; Baked crab cakes at 450° for about 15 to 18 minutes on a sheet pan. Add a little bit of olive oil on top of the crab cakes. Halfway in cooking, flip the crab cakes.Take care not to over cook your cakes. You want to have juicy crab cakes at the end of it all.
  • Air fry; You can air fry your crab cakes. Add a little bit of olive oil to the crab cakes so that they don’t stick. Place the crab cakes in the air fryer basket and cook them at 400° for about 8 to 10 minutes. They are done once the outside of the cake is golden brown. 

Perfect garnish for Crab Cakes

  • Lemon wedges
  • Green Onions with Tarter sauce
  • Cocktail Sauce

Other Recipes You Might Like

Over Head Crab cake made into a BLT

Maryland Style Crab Cake Recipe (Ritz Crackers)

This Maryland style crab cake recipe with Ritz crackers is easy to add to your weeknight menu. I’ve incorporated lump crab meat, seafood seasoning, mayo, crushed Ritz crackers, all cooked in buttery deliciousness. This is an easy pan fry recipe and you can top it with bacon or a simple tartar sauce. I love making these for lunch or dinner. Nothing better than a homemade crab cakes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 10 kcal

Equipment

  • Skillet
  • Medium-sized bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb lump crab meat. Break it apart so that all the clumps are slightly even.
  • 2 tbsp. Diced green and red bell pepper mixed.
  • 1 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. Mayo or Miracle Whip
  • 1 Large egg white
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 8-10 Ritz crackers crushed
  • 2 tbsp. Butter or olive oil for cooking.

Instructions
 

  • To a medium sized bowl add your fresh lump crab meat.
  • Crush your Ritz crackers by hand or by a rolling pin in a ziploc bag. You can to create cracker crumbs.
  • In a medium bowl add the crab meat, crushed crackers, bell peppers, seasoning, egg whites, mayo, mustard. Mix well until combined. This is your crab cake mixture.
  • Using your hands shape crab mixture into 8 patties. If you notice that the patties are not binding together, this is the time to add either more crackers or more mayo. If they look dry add more mayo, if they look wet at a few more crackers.
  • Heat your frying pan to medium-high heat. Add butter or olive oil and melt butter. You could also use 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
  • Once your skillet is hot and the butter is bubbly, add your crab cakes. Spread them evenly throughout the pan.
  • Cook crab cakes for about 4 minutes, check to see that the crab cake is golden on one side. Flip carefully, I like to use a fish spatula for this process.
  • Once the crab cakes are golden on each side, remove them from the heat.
  • Eat your crab cake hot and enjoy!

Notes

  • Keep your burner at medium heat for the second half of the cooking process. This will make for even browning.
  • You can make smaller crab cakes. It just depends on your usage at the end of the process.
  • Add seasoning as needed. If you do not want to use the seafood seasoning, make sure to add salt and pepper.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 10kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 0.4gFat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 58mgPotassium: 36mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 56IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 25mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Meat, Quick & Easy, Quick Meal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on September 14th, 2022

About thebuttababe

HI I'm Alex! Self-Taught Home Chef and Food Photographer. I am here to help you build confidence in the kitchen. We will always have laughs and fun along the way!

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