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Maryland-style Old Bay crab cakes on a black plate with a bowl of mango salsa in the background.
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5 from 4 votes

Maryland-Style Old Bay Crab Cakes

These delicious crab cakes are bursting with fresh, sweet crab meat held together with little filler, and topped with a simple lemon aioli. Oven and air fryer instructions included!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 (8 crab cakes)
Calories: 322kcal



Crab Cakes:

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ½ tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lb. lump or jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
  • 1 ounce (about 1 cup) fresh breadcrumbs* (can substitute ½ cup panko breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Olive oil spray
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Lemon aioli

  • cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Mix the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and parsley together in a large bowl. Add the crab and breadcrumbs and gently mix to combine being careful not to over-mix it.
  • Form the mixture into 8 small cakes, compacting them just enough to hold together. Place them on a greased baking sheet. If the crab cakes seem loose, refrigerate them for 20 minutes so that they firm up.
  • Spray the crab cakes with olive oil and sprinkle a little Old Bay on top. Bake in the oven 15-17 minutes until crab cakes are cooked through and golden brown. Arrange them on a serving platter and serve with lemon aioli and lemon wedges. If desired, serve with mango salsa on the side.
  • To make the Lemon Aioli, mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and garlic powder together in a small bowl.

Air Fryer Instructions:

  • Spray the air fryer basket with oil and arrange the crab cakes on top in a single layer. Cook at 350°F until crab cakes are lightly browned and cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F, about 8-10 minutes.


    • Use fresh, good-quality lump crab meat, if you can find it. It's typically sold in the seafood department of the grocery store, resting on ice. The next best option is refrigerated crab meat, which is readily available year-round. Avoid shelf-stable canned crab meat, which contains additives that affect the taste and texture of the crab meat.
    • I like to make fresh breadcrumbs from sandwich bread rather than using packaged breadcrumbs because they make for a lighter, flakier crab cake. To make fresh breadcrumbs, remove the crusts from a couple of pieces of sandwich bread and process them in a food processor until crumbs are formed. You can substitute panko breadcrumbs (if using panko breadcrumbs, use about ½ cup).
    • For best results, don't over-mix the crab mixture. You want to leave some lumps of crab meat in the cakes and not break it up too much.
    • If the crab cakes seem soft, refrigerate them for 20 minutes before baking. This will help them firm up so that they don't fall apart.


Serving: 2 crab cakes plus aioli | Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 1358mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 205IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 2mg