Baltimore Style Crab Cakes

Baltimore or bust! When it comes to crab cakes, no places does it better than Baltimore, Maryland. For me a quality crab cake has very little filler and is only loosely bound together. I don’t want my crab cake to taste like bread, I want my crab cake to taste like crab and too often this isn’t the case. For example, as much as I love Maine (my family vacations there yearly), trust me and don’t waste your time on a New England style crab cake. It almost seems like the goal of a New England style crab cake is to recreate the centerpiece of one of their favourite winter sports, a hockey puck. But, I digress. The point is to emphasize that a crab cake should showcase the crab. Crab is one of those foods in life that is about as close to perfection as it gets. A crab cake should only further highlight, rather than obscure the amazingness of crab.

As you can probably tell, anything crab-related I take extremely seriously. For this reason, I have been working on my crab cake recipe for years. During the process, I found out that I could no longer eat gluten, so this added another challenge. Finally, I emerged with a crab cake recipe I am proud of that can be either gluten-full or gluten free (see ingredients to uncover how).

I love to eat these crab cakes in many ways, but my favourite way is the simplest way. A warm crab cake, a slice of lemon to squeeze lemon juice over the lemon, and some homemade herby tartar sauce (recipe included below). I would love to hear in the comments how you like to enjoy your crab cakes. Enjoy!

Gluten free crab cake with lemon and homemade tartar sauce


  • 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
  • ½ cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise (full-fat)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (I use a reduced sodium gluten-free Worcestershire sauce and if you cannot find a gluten free alternative, you can leave this out)
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco hot sauce
  • 20 crackers (if gluten free, use Schar’s table crackers and if not, use unsalted saltine crackers)
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Tartar sauce and lemon wedges for serving


  1. Place all crackers into a Ziplock bag and use your hands to crush them into very fine pieces. Set aside for later.
  2. In a large bowl, combine crab meat, mayonnaise, egg, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and crackers.
  3. Gently mix ingredients together until everything is evenly distributed throughout mixture. Be careful not to mix too aggressively because you want to preserve the chunkiness of the crab meat.
  4. Scoop crab meat into ½ cup measuring cup and then mold into crab cake shape.
  5. Allow crab cakes to firm up in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or, if you have time, overnight.
  6. Heat canola oil in a frying pan over medium heat and cook crab cakes for approximately 4 minutes per side (or until golden brown). Cook crab cakes in batches so the pan does not become overcrowded.
  7. Serve crab cakes with lemon wedges and tartar sauce. For a quick homemade tartar sauce, I like to mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley, dill, capers, and dill pickles. The ratios of each ingredient will change depending on your taste preferences.

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