The Best Classic Crab Cakes Recipe (Old Bay Seasoning)

The Best Classic Crab Cakes Recipe (Old Bay Seasoning)

This Crab Cakes Recipe (Old Bay Seasoned) is a traditional favorite made with fresh picked crab meat and and roasted red peppers. They are perfect for that beach vacation!

 Classic Old Bay Crab Cakes with Roasted Red Peppers | Home & Plate | | The secret to these classic crab cakes is that the succulent crab meat is mixed with just the right amount of crunchy Panko breadcrumbs. 

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The right amount of crunchy Panko breadcrumbs is the essential ingredient to the best crab cakes.

The succulent crab mixture is tossed with just the right amount of breading.

It’s just enough filler for the most delicious crab cakes.

A trip to the eastern shore would not be the same without my mother’s delicious classic Old Bay crab cakes recipe.

The crab meat is freshly picked that day and with the addition of sweet roasted red peppers this dish is sure to become a favorite in your home.

This recipe is an oldie but a goodie.

It’s really not my mother’s original recipe – she found it on the back of the Old Bay Seasoning can years ago.

But it’s a classic nonetheless.

I’ve made it my own by adding roasted red peppers and green onions to give it a little extra sweet flavor.

A pan of cooked crab cakes

I remember more vacations than I can count on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where we’d head out for a morning of crabbing.

It took a lot of patience catching enough crabs for dinner.

We were kids and loved sitting around watching who had a crab on their line.

It was a slow and painful process reeling in each bite on the line.

Of course, nowadays we just head to the fish market or local grocery store.

This is the best crab cake recipe to make not just in the summer, but year-round.

What kind of crab meat should I use?

The best meat to use is jumbo lump crab meat.

If you are near the eastern shore, the best selection of fresh blue crab meat comes straight from the Chesapeake Bay.

There is nothing like sinking your teeth into Maryland crab cakes served with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or tartar sauce.

Stay away from canned crab.

The type of crab meat you use for this easy crab cake recipe makes a difference.

The seafood department at most local groceries carries fresh crab meat.

Choose between fresh lump crabmeat or backfin crabmeat.

How should I serve classic Old Bay crab cakes?

These lump crab cakes are perfect for a family dinner or for an appetizer party platter.

Just make the patties bite sized and serve with a side of rémoulade.

Sometimes, I will serve a crab cake sandwich on a roll with a spicy chipotle mayonnaise and fresh greens. 

This recipe is really versatile because you can serve it with just about any summer vegetable!

4 photos showing the steps for preparing crab cakes

How can I keep the crab cakes from falling apart?

Mix the crab meat in a large bowl with the red peppers and onions.

Mix bread crumbs, egg, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, and the remaining dry ingredients together.

Shape into patties.

Adding the baking powder to the recipe helps the patties stay formed while cooking.

It also keeps them light and flaky.

A tip – a half an hour in the fridge covered with plastic wrap before cooking keeps them from breaking apart in the pan when flipping.

Crabcakes on a white plate next to fork

Need more summer recipe ideas? Serve up these tasty recipes!



stack of three crabcakes on a plate

Classic Crab Cakes (Old Bay Seasoning)

Ali Randall
The secret to these classic crab cakes is that the succulent crab meat is mixed with just the right amount of crunchy Panko breadcrumbs.
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs Parmesan and herb flavored
  • 1/2 red pepper roasted and diced
  • 4 green onions diced
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 pound lump crab meat
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • Mix together all the ingredients, except the olive oil, using your hands if necessary. Shape into eight patties. Be sure to refrigerate the crab cakes for about 30 minutes before cooking. It helps to keep them together while cooking.
  • Be sure to refrigerate the crab cakes for about 30 minutes before cooking. It helps to keep them together while cooking.
  • Using a cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add the crab cakes to the pan when hot.
  • Fry them flipping once until golden brown on each side, for a total of about 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Serve with lemon wedges or cocktail sauce.
Keyword Old Bay Crab Cakes
 Classic Old Bay Crab Cakes with Roasted Red Peppers | Home & Plate | | The secret to these classic crab cakes is that the succulent crab meat is mixed with just the right amount of crunchy Panko breadcrumbs. 

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25 thoughts on “The Best Classic Crab Cakes Recipe (Old Bay Seasoning)”

  • These look perfect! Crab cakes are one of my husband’s most favorite foods, he’d love these!

  • I LOVE crab cakes and don’t make them nearly often enough. Your recipe looks perfect! I love your baking powder tip and the use of Old Bay and Worcestershire here!

  • There are few things I like more than a good crab cake, and this looks ah-mazing. Sadly, I had a really BAD one recently, so I’ve been jonesin’ to make a good version. I think I found one! Thanks!

    • Dee Dee…I’ve had some bad ones too but fear not, these are the winner. They will not disappoint. Old family favorite!

  • I confess I don’t even know what Old Bay Seasoning tastes like. These look wonderful. I think I might need to get my hands one some seasoning and some crap.

  • My daughter is a crab cake lover. This looks so much better than the ones I usually make her. Will be getting the ingredients today (have most but not all) and making them tonight. Thank you. Love the baking powder tip. I use Old Bay a lot. It is great for sea food. Thank you.

  • 5 stars
    I couldn’t find the Parmesan and Herb Panko bread crumbs anywhere so just used plain Panko and they were still delicious. Served them with Cajun remoulade sauce. One question, I follow ed all your directions including the baking powder and refrigerating 30 minutes before cooking but couldn’t get them to hold together Very well. Do you think maybe a little more egg and bread crumbs would’ve helped? Suggestions for next time? This was the first time I ever made crabcakes. Thank you!

    • Glad to hear they were delicious. If you are having trouble keeping them together, add a tablespoon of flour when mixing in the ingredients and refrigerate them for an hour to get them colder. Hope they turn out perfect next time 🙂

  • Going to make crabcakes for the first time and am unsure how to roast the red pepper. Stumbled across this recipe this week and had to find the Old Bay seasoning (successful) so here I go.

    • Hi Constance…you can roast them at 375°F using the broil setting of your oven or you can turn on a gas burner and place one or two whole peppers directly on the flame. Using a pair of tongs, rotate the peppers to ensure all sides are blackened. Another option is to purchase the peppers already roasted and jarred. Good luck.

  • 5 stars
    I had plain gluten free Panko, and sautéed a shallot (intead of green onion) and half a red pepper. Lacked old bay and used Tony Cacchere’s Cajun seasoning. Everyone loved the cakes. I fried 2-3 in batches in a cast iron skillet. After 2 1/2 min browning, I slid a spatula under each patty from the center toward the edge of the pan so that the edge of the pan gently smooshed the edge of the patty, forcing the patty to hold shape. I flipped each patty over, uncooked side onto my palm and used my other hand to gently lift with 5 fingertips and placed onto the skillet for an additional 2-3 minutes. Fragile, but held shape and became more firm while cooling slightly. I give five stars as my substitutions were based on what I had on hand, possibly not as good as the original recipe and yet this was a huge hit. Even if the recipe is fragile, With care you can maintain the shape.

  • 5 stars
    Thank you for the best Crabcake recipe ever and it’s so easy and quick! Throw all ingredients together in one bowl and
    after 30 minutes in frig just sauté them! I used the jarred Red Roasted Peppers! My whole family loves these!

  • 4 stars
    Good recipe. A bit confusing about the olive oil. The first step says to mix ALL ingredients together. I omitted the olive oil from mixing because it didn’t seem right, and it says to add it to the pan when ready to fry. Can you clarify?

    • Thanks Dan for the question. The olive oil is for the pan. I updated the recipe card to reflect that. Hope you enjoy 🙂

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