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11 November 2020

My favorite crab cake recipe for tender, fluffy crab cakes made with loads of crab meat, spiced with a blend of seasonings, then drizzled with a flavorful creamy Cajun sauce. Try this for a great dinner option.

Who’s in the mood for crab cakes? I certainly am! Crab cakes are a wonderful recipe item to keep on your menu. They’re kinda-sorta fancy in a way, so if you wanted to impress your date with a romantic evening dinner in, you could always serve up crab cakes as either the main course or as a small plate starter.

Truth be told, they’re a nice option for holiday meals, but once you’ve gotten the hang of making them, they might become an easy weeknight meal for you.

Honestly, they’re not very hard to make. The key thing to get down is nailing the consistency of the hand formed patties before cooking them so they don’t fall apart on you. Outside of that, you can have them on the table in about a half hour or so.

YES, even for a slow cook like me.

Crab Cakes with Cajun Cream Sauce - Ready to Serve

Good crab cakes are light and delicate, not dense. These are made with a lot of crab, with just enough other ingredients to help hold them together.

Realistically making them is as simple as mixing your ingredients together in a bowl, forming the patties and cooking them in a pan.

The Crab Cake Sauce, which is a creamy Cajun sauce, can be whipped together in no time while the crab cakes are cooking up for you.

Let’s talk about how we make them, shall we?

Crab Cakes Ingredients

  • Bread Crumbs. ¾ cup bread crumbs or crushed saltine crackers. Panko bread crumbs are great, too.
  • Seasonings. 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning or more to taste (or use Old Bay Seasoning), along with 1 tsp garlic powder and salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Egg. 1 egg beaten.
  • Mayo. 2 tablespoon mayonnaise.
  • Hot Sauce. 1 tablespoon of your favorite hot sauce.
  • Mustard. 1 tablespoon whole grain spicy mustard.
  • Worcestershire  Sauce. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce.
  • Lemon Juice. Juice of a lemon.
  • Vegetables. Use 1 stalk celery, 1 shallot, and 1 serrano pepper.
  • Herbs. 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley.
  • Crab. 1 pound fresh lump crab meat.
  • Butter. 2 tablespoons butter.

Cajun Cream Sauce Ingredients (Crab Cake Sauce)

  • Mayo. ½ cup mayonnaise.
  • Mustard. 1 tablespoon whole grain spicy mustard.
  • Hot Sauce. 1 tablespoon of your favorite hot sauce.
  • Vinegar. 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar.
  • Peppers. ¼ cup pickled jalapeno peppers.
  • Celery. 1 tablespoon diced celery.
  • Seasonings. 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (or use Old Bay Seasoning).
  • Lemon Juice. Juice from half a lemon.
  • Garlic. 2 cloves garlic minced.

How to Make Crab Cakes with Creamy Cajun Sauce – the Recipe Method

Dry Ingredients. In a large bowl, combine some bread crumbs or cracker crumbs with Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and a bit of salt and pepper.

Wet Ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine an egg with mayonnaise, hot sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, celery, shallot, serrano and parsley.

Combine and Mix. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix it all up with a fork. Add the crab meat and hand mix. If the crab cakes are not holding together, add in a bit more bread crumbs and possibly mayo and mustard to help them bind.

Crab Cakes mixture

Make the Crab Cake Patties. Form them into 6 large crab cakes and set them on a large plate. Alternatively, form them into smaller patties for appetizer or small plate portions.

Hand formed crab cakes, ready to cook

Make the Crab Cake Sauce. For the Cajun Cream Sauce, simply process some mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, apple cider vinegar, pickled jalapenos, celery, Cajun seasoning (or Old Bay Seasoning), lemon juice and minced garlic in a food processor until smooth.

Cajun Cream Sauce in a food processor

Store for Now. Pour into a medium bowl and cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Pouring Cajun Cream Sauce into a bowl

Cook the Crab Cakes. Heat a large pan to medium heat and add the butter. Add the crab cakes and cook them for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until they are nicely browned on both sides. You can also bake them at 350 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes on a baking sheet, or until they are cooked through. I prefer pan frying to get them nicely browned.

Cooking crab cakes in pan with some olive oil

Serve! Serve with the Cajun Cream Sauce and lemon wedges. I love some extra crab cake sauce on mine. So good!

Crab Cakes with Cajun Cream Sauce - Ready to Serve

Boom! Done! Your crab cakes are ready to serve, with delicious crab cake sauce. So creamy with a nice level of spice to it. I love these crab cakes. This is my favorite crab cake recipe. 

What to Serve with Crab Cakes?

When serving crab cakes as an appetizer, I like to serve them with lemon wedges and extra crab cake sauce on the side. Crab cakes pair nicely with a slice of jalapeno cornbread or some grilled corn on the cob. Try them served over a nice spinach salad with lots of vegetables. You’ll also enjoy them on rolls as a crab cake sandwich.

Recipe Tips and Notes

  • Heat Factor. These crab cakes are in the mild-medium range of spiciness. You can up the heat a bit with extra serrano peppers and/or Cajun seasonings, or use a spicier Cajun blend. I like to make mine with a pinch of ghost powder. Check out my homemade Cajun seasoning blend recipe.
  • Dinner or Small Plates. As mentioned, I’ve written up the recipe to make 6 good sized crab cakes. You can serve one or two of them up as a dinner. Just add a side dish for a more complete meal. However, crab cakes always make for a nice appetizer. I usually order them at restaurants as a starter, or if we’re in the mood for a number of small plates for dinner. 
  • Firm Crab Cakes. As mentioned, it’s important to get the feel for forming the crab cakes properly, otherwise they can fall apart. They should be slightly firm, but not too firm, otherwise they can be dense and mushy on the inside. It make take a bit of practice, but you may need to experiment with the amount of bread crumbs or the wet ingredients to get the best balance of firmness and fluffiness.
  • Crab Cake Sauce. Everyone loves a good creamy crab cake sauce. It’s half the recipe, really. My version is a base of mayonnaise with a touch of mustard, hot sauce and other flavor-building ingredients. It’s basically a Cajun Remoulade Sauce. If you’re looking for a lighter crab cake sauce, skip the mayo and go with crema or sour cream. You can also adjust the seasonings to go with your favorites. Try it with fresh chopped dill, which is a nice addition.

Best Crab for Making Crab Cakes

You can use any type of crab to make crab cakes. I enjoy purchasing Alaskan King Crab Legs from our local market, then extracting the meat from the shells for lump crab cakes. You’ll get beautiful huge chunks of crab in every bite this way. It’s an expensive option, however.

Crab claw meat is also great for making chunky crab cakes. Making crab cakes from canned crab is the most budget friendly option. They’re still big on flavor. 

We took an anniversary trip to the Chesapeake Bay a few years ago and chartered a crab boat with a man who’d been born and raised in the Chesapeake area. He took us out early in the morning, where we caught a couple of bushels of blue crab. Such a wonderful trip. I used some of that crab meat to make these wonderful crab cakes and they were outstanding. So delicious. Fresh crab meat is the way to go, though, if you can obtain it. You can ready all about my Chesapeake Bay trip here (with a nice crab bisque recipe, too!).

Crab Cakes with Cajun Cream Sauce - On a plate, ready to Serve

Try Some of These Other Popular Crab Recipes

Try Some of These Other Popular Seafood Recipes

If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Crab Cakes with Cajun Cream Sauce - Eating with a Fork
Print Recipe
5 from 10 votes

Crab Cake Recipe with Creamy Cajun Sauce

My favorite crab cake recipe for tender, fluffy crab cakes made with loads of crab meat, spiced with a blend of seasonings, then drizzled with a flavorful creamy Cajun sauce. Try this for a great dinner option.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crab, seafood
Servings: 6 crab cakes
Calories: 339kcal

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup bread crumbs or crushed saltine crackers
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning or more to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain spicy mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 1 serrano pepper chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 pound fresh lump crab meat
  • 2 tablespoons butter

FOR THE CAJUN CREAM SAUCE

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain spicy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup pickled jalapeno peppers
  • 1 tablespoon diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic minced

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper to make the crab cakes. Mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the egg, mayonnaise, hot sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, celery, shallot, serrano and parsley.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a fork. Add the crab meat and hand mix. Form them into 6 crab cakes and set them on a large plate.
  • Next, make the Cajun Cream Sauce by processing the mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, apple cider vinegar, pickled jalapenos, celery, Cajun seasoning, lemon juice and minced garlic in a food processor until smooth. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Heat a large pan to medium heat and add the butter. Add the crab cakes and cook them for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until they are nicely browned on both sides. Serve with the Cajun Cream Sauce and lemon wedges.

Video

Notes

Heat Factor: Mild-Medium. Up the heat a bit with extra serranos and/or Cajun seasonings, or use a spicier Cajun blend.

Nutrition

Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 1113mg | Potassium: 297mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1595IU | Vitamin C: 10.7mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 2.1mg

NOTE: This recipe was updated on 11/11/20 to include new information. It was originally published on 12/1/18.

 

30 comments

  1. Can you freeze uncooked or cooked crab cake mix? I am planning on making tomorrow but not sure if I should 1/2 the recipe or make and freeze?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Kathy, you can freeze the uncooked crab cakes. I would separate them with freezer paper and seal them for freezing. Then, cook as needed. You should be able to cook them from frozen, but be sure to cook all the way through.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Kierra! We love these. A favorite for sure!

  2. 5 stars
    The crab cakes were very good. The Cajun Cream Sauce was AMAZING! I used the sauce as a salad dressing, too…

    We repurposed the crab cakes later in the weeks in a tuna noodle casserole – of course minus the tuna.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Kevin, Yes, I agree that both the sauce and the crab cakes themselves are easy to re-purpose and make another delicious meal.

  3. crystal frischman

    My crab cakes all fell apart as soon as I flipped them over and i followed the recipe to a T. No worries, I turned it into a stir fry but man they were WAY too salty for my liking. That was a lot of work for such a salty messy crab cake.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Sorry to hear, Crystal. Crab cakes are pretty flaky and light, and can fall apart. Next time you can add in more breadcrumbs to firm them up, or set them into the freezer to help them hold better. I hate to use too much breadcrumbs, as I want the crab flavor to shine. The recipe calls for “salt to taste”. If yours was salty, it is probably from the Cajun seasoning blend you used. You may want to review the contents. I like to make my own blend without salt so I can add my own salt to taste per recipe. Sorry again for any issues.

  4. Did anyone else find them to be very salty? I used Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning, and 2 tbs seems overwhelming.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hey, Bryan. Some Cajun seasoning brands contain salt, so that can certainly be a factor. I usually make my own blend without salt then add salt to taste to avoid these types of issues. I love Slap Ya Mama blend, though, but would taste and adjust as I go along. Sorry for the issue.

  5. 5 stars
    Was in search of a nice cajun-type sauce for my Mardis Gras-themed dinner, and Googled upon this site. Only made the sauce part of this recipe…but even just that is amazing! Will definitely be making this again. Thanks so much for sharing your fabulous recipe.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Coconut! I LOVE the sauce, too!

  6. 5 stars
    The cajun sauce in this recipe is really unique! It gives them that extra something. Can’t wait to make them again for a crowd.

  7. 5 stars
    These crab cakes look delicious and super flavourful! The cajun sauce sounds fantastic and I could see myself using it in other recipes too!

  8. 5 stars
    these look amazing, I really want to start eating more seafood based meals so these would be perfect! I love salmon patties so only can imagine I’d love these!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      These will definitely get you eating more seafood, Georgie! Enjoy.

  9. 5 stars
    MMM. I was looking for a crab cake recipe to surprise my husband who is from the East Coast. Can’t wait to make this for Christmas eve.

  10. Michael Mantle

    Love crab and salmon cakes but my wife is allergic to eggs and can’t find a recipe or a substitute with out egg.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Michael, I would use some olive oil instead of eggs. I believe it will bind nicely that way. Let me know how it turns out for you.

    2. You can use flax seed and water for substitute! It’s super easy! I’ve used it for egg substitute plenty of times

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Tom, yes, this would totally work. I also have a recipe for Salmon Patties you might check out as well. Let me know how they turn out for you.

      1. 5 stars
        Done! Hmm, this one was gorgeous, a rich lemony sauce, solid cakes full of flavors… that’s definitevely a win! …and I love your videos, Mike!

        1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

          Awesome, Jeremie. Glad you enjoyed them. And the videos. Thanks!

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