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Baked Crab Cakes (Muffin Pan Recipe)

These Baked Crab Cakes are made Maryland-Style and are unbelievably easy and delicious. Made with sweet flaky lump crab meat, Old Bay seasoning, and very little filler, these golden brown baked crab cakes are served with a slice of lemon and an incredibly flavorful tartar sauce.

If you love simple and delicious crab recipes, this will be one that you’ll want to keep on hand!  

platter of crab cakes

Baked Crab Cakes

Once you start baking crab cakes in mini muffin pans, you’ll never make them any other way! 

Most people will agree that the best crab cakes are ones that are made with fresh jumbo crab meat, is packed with very little filling, and is loaded with lots of flavor. And these Maryland crab cakes are just that.

Full of wonderful texture, tons of crab meat, packed with flavor, with the best part being that they are oven baked not fried.

So, when you’re looking for an amazingly quick appetizer, snack, or light dinner, grab some fresh lump crab and a few pantry staples, form into mini cakes, pop into your oven, and viola!

In less than 30 minutes, your baked crab cakes will have a delicately crispy exterior and that perfect flakey flavorful interior. Serve with an Old Bay flavored or Old Fashioned tartar sauce and enjoy!

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy here.
labeled picture of ingredients

Ingredients Needed

Lump crab meat – I prefer to use fresh crab claw or jumbo lump crab meat that is purchased from the seafood counter or from the local fish monger.

In a pinch using pre-packaged crab meat is fine as long as it’s from a reputable source packaged with only lump or claw meat.

Vegetables – Onion and Celery

Condiments – Whole grain mustard and prepared horseradish

Onion – I used white onion but feel free to yellow or even a sweet onion.

Breadcrumbs – Be sure to use any plain style bread crumbs. Just try to stay away from seasoned breadcrumbs as it changes the flavor profile. You can also use cracker crumbs!

Seasonings – parsley, paprika, Old Bay Seasoning, salt & pepper

Looking for more leftover worthy dishes? Follow LTB on Pinterest and pin to a board!

How to make Baked Crab Cakes

ONE: Make the crab cakes: In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the carb cakes being careful not to overwork the mixture or break up the crab too much.

TWO: Press crab cake mixture into a prepared mini muffin pan. You will fill 20 spaces.

THREE: Bake at 375°F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cakes to cool. Once cooled, run a knife around the edges of the crab cakes to loosen from the muffin pan. Be careful not to cut or break the crab cakes.

Once they are cooled, it’s time to serve on platter with tartar sauce and lemon wedges!

Old Bay Tartar Sauce Ingredients

  • mayonnaise
  • Dijon mustard
  • prepared horseradish
  • lemon juice
  • pickled jalapeno
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • capers

Mayonnaise – Feel free to use regular or light versions of your favorite real mayonnaise. You can also substitute plain Greek yogurt.

Old Bay Seasoning – You should be able to find Old Bay Seasoning in the spice aisle of your local grocer.

If you are unable to locate it, feel free to make your own homemade version by combining celery salt, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, ground dry mustard, ground mace, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, allspice, cloves, and ginger.

How to make Old Bay Tartar Sauce

ONE: While the crab cakes are baking, make the Old Bay tartar sauce.

TWO: Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until fully combined. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

For the full recipe and detailed baking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.

pan of crab cakes

Can I use imitation crab meat?

While you can use imitation crab meat if you are in a bind, I would advise against it. The main ingredient and flavor of this dish comes from the crab which means you’ll want to use fresh, real crab.

Imitation crab meat isn’t crab meat at all, instead, it’s white fish compressed into a crab-like shape and tinted orange.

Can these be made ahead of time?

Of course! Make the crab cakes according to recipe, place them in pan and cover. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When ready to make, bake according to directions.

What can I serve with Baked Crab Cakes?

If you are looking to keep in line with Maryland tradition, then serve these crab cakes with a shrimp boil, corn on the cob, and French fries.

However, I enjoy them with crispy celery slaw or traditional cabbage slaw for a light and flavorful meal.

Can I freeze them?

There are two ways you can freeze a crab cake.

First: Cook crab cakes according to directions, allow them to cool completely and then place in a freezer safe storage container or zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

Second: way, is to freeze the crab cakes raw. Portion out 20 cakes and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze, uncovered, for approximately two hours.

Once frozen, place in a freezer safe storage container or zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

I like to use my food saver for best results!

When ready to make, allow crab cakes to defrost in the fridge overnight and then bake.

How to store leftovers

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. When ready to reheat, bake at 375°F until warmed through and serve.

platter of crab cakes

Tips for No Leftovers

  • Serve multiple types of dip with crab cakes. This Old Fashioned Tartar Sauce is delicious with this recipe.
  • If you do not have a mini muffin pan, feel free to use a regular size muffin pan. Just adjust the cooking time to 25-30 minutes.
  • If you prefer frying the crab cakes, heat a skillet over medium heat with a little oil. Fry the crab cakes until crispy on the outside and cooked to 145F on the inside.
  • If you cannot find fresh lump crab meat, use pre-packaged lump or claw meat from a reputable source.
  • Seafood seasoning or even a Cajun blend could be used in place of Old Bay seasoning.
  • According to the USDA, seafood is safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Gently pack the mixture into the muffin tins. Don’t compact the crab cakes too tightly as this will produce an overly dense cake.
  • To make gluten-free, swap out regular breadcrumbs for gluten-free breadcrumbs.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

crab patties with text "muffin pan baked crab cakes"

This baked crab cake recipe is quick and easy to make. They are perfect as a crowd pleasing appetizer, snack, or light dinner!

More Easy Recipes

platter of crab cakes

Baked Crab Cakes

Yield: 20 mini or 10 regular cakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

These Baked Crab Cakes are made Maryland-Style and are unbelievably easy and delicious.


  • 8 ounces lump crab meat
  • 1/2 stalk celery (finely diced)
  • 1/2 small onion (finely diced)
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 egg (beaten lightly)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • Lemon wedges for serving
  • Tartar Sauce for Serving


    1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Prepare a mini muffin pan (or regular muffin pan) with non-stick pray.
    2. Mix all of the ingredients for the crab cakes in a bowl being careful not to overwork the mixture. You want the crabmeat to stay in chunks.
    3. Lightly press the mixture into a mini muffin pan. You will fill 20 spaces. (10 if you use a regular size pan)
    4. Bake for 15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145F.
    5. While the crab cakes are baking, mix the Old Bay tartar sauce.
    6. Mix all the ingredients for the Old Bay tartar sauce in a small bowl.
    7. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
    8. When the crab cakes are finished baking, remove the muffin pan from the oven.
    9. Let them cool for a minute or so before continuing.
    10. Run a knife around the edges of the crab cakes to loosen them from the muffin pan. Be careful not to cut or break the crab cakes.
    11. Serve with lemon and tartar sauce. Enjoy!


*If you love this recipe as much as I do, please leave me a comment and rate it 5 stars. Thank you!

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This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy here.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 72Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 509mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 6g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

Did you love this recipe?

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Lisa Hanner

Monday 24th of January 2022

Hi, I am made them and they are delicious so much so that I ate one even though it was way too salty. I only made 2 and froze the rest. What should I do to save them?


Monday 24th of January 2022

I'm sorry you found them too salty. Unfortunately once they are baked all you can do is add them to something else like a mixed green salad or top with a salt free sauce, maybe a tartar sauce. You could try mixing them up with a mayo dressing to make like a crab spread for sandwiches or crackers. I will make a note in the recipe card about adding salt slowly.

Amy Nash

Wednesday 6th of October 2021

Crab cakes are the BEST and these are so easy! Loved making them in the muffin pan - that's brilliant!

Michaela Kenkel

Monday 4th of October 2021

These turned out so good!! I added them to the top of salads for a luncheon that I did over the weekend and everyone loved it! I love the simplicity!! Thank you!!

Kathleen Pope

Saturday 2nd of October 2021

Made these for a potluck the other night, I never even got one, they were gobbled up so quickly!

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