Baked Crab Cakes with Meyer Lemon Aioli

baked crab cakes

 Have you ever gotten really excited about a recipe before? Well I sure have with these luscious baked crab cakes.

Before I go on I must confess this is the first time I attempted to make homemade crab cakes. I normally order them in restaurants but I’ve been disappointed so many times because they’re usually fried and somewhat greasy or you barely taste any crab at all because of the breading and fillers packed inside.

baked crab cakes

 Have no fear, these are the real deal! Jumbo lump crab cakes that are delicate and light with no breading or frying just baked to perfection in a very hot oven.

These are perfect for a special occasion like New Years Eve this weekend, a romantic dinner for two, a special birthday or anniversary dinner, a light and healthy main course or even served as appetizers. The best part is they’re so scrumptious and so easy to make!

jumbo lump crab for crab cakes

 You’ll need real jumbo lump crab meat so ask your fish monger where it’s located in the store. Many places sell it, It’s even available at Trader Joes but I happened to buy this at my Costco which always has it during the holidays. I added a little chopped red onion, red pepper, celery, parsley, basil and some spice for the other ingredients.

making crab cakes

 You must get a ring mold or a biscuit cutter like I used, or make your own with a can, it makes all the difference in looks and texture.

baked crab cakes

 What really makes these crab cakes so magical is the technique in which they’re cooked. I watched a You Tube of a chef in Napa and I just loved how he cooked them using high heat in the oven for just eight minutes.

The ingredients were a mix of a few different recipes I found on the web. I served them with a meyer lemon aioli that paired perfectly with all the flavors but a nice remoulade would work just as well.

baked crab cakes

 Don’t be afraid to make your own crab cakes, once you try these you’ll be hooked forever.

baked crab cake

 I can’t wait to make them again!

baked crab cakes

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Baked Crab Cakes with Meyer Lemon Aioli
  • Makes 4 generous crab cakes
  • ½ lb. of cooked jumbo lump crab
  • ¼ cup each, or even less ( you be the judge) of finely chopped celery, red onion, red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped basil
  • ¼ teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • zest of a ½ lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of real mayo for the filling,plus extra for aioli
  • Old Bay seasoning to taste, or creole if you want it spicier
  • 1 cup of good quality mayo
  • meyer lemon juice or regular lemon juice, fresh. Mix well til you get a nice consistency, add some salt and pepper.
  1. Pre- heat oven to 500 degrees
  2. Spray a small baking sheet or pie tin with olive oil spray, no parchment or foil.
  3. Take a mixing bowl then add the mayo, zest and old bay, mix well.
  4. Fold in the celery, red pepper, red onion, parsley and basil and panko.
  5. Gently fold in the lump crab meat and combine everything. At this point you can taste for seasoning as you like it, adding salt and pepper to taste or more spice.
  6. Place bowl into the freezer for 10 minutes or fridge for 20 minutes, no longer! This allows the panko to set up and hold everything together.
  7. Take a ring mold, the one I used was around 3" and fill it almost to the top, packing it down as your filling it.
  8. Gently push it out onto your greased baking sheet.
  9. Place them into the hot 500 degree oven for 8 minutes and do not touch or flip them over.
  10. Take them out after 8 minutes and let them sit on the baking sheet for a minute before removing.
  11. Swipe your platter or serving dish with some of the aioli then carefully take a fish spatula and lift the crab cake gently off the pan and actually flip it over with your hand so the deeper golden side that was on the bottom is now facing up.
  12. Garnish with more aioli, some parsley and a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning.


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I have used your recipe for the last several years for our Christmas Eve dinner. It’s just the two of us on Christmas Eve, and we look forward to your crab cakes every year! Be well. Merry Christmas!

As a newbie to making crab cakes, how do I cook the lumps of fresh crab meat before using them in the recipe? Does crab get tough or dry if you over cook it?

I never used fresh, only canned pre cooked lump crabmeat that’s sold in the refrigerator section. Most crab you would buy over the counter is sold usually precooked anyway.

The only thing I could think is that when you formed the cakes, if they felt loose I would add more bread crumbs.They have to be sturdy enough when you flip them over.

The recipe calls for “cooked” crab meat. Can I use wild caught pasteurized crab meat? The can doesn’t say anything about being cooked.

I made these for New Years Eve dinner…so delicious! I followed the recipe exactly except I did not have basil and I made a remoulade sauce to go with them. I love that they are baked – so much lighter and better tasting than pan frying. They have such a great depth of taste! Thank you Marie!

We just paid $18.00 for TWO very mediocre crab cakes at at Carmel, CA restaurant. I was so disappointed. These are gorgeous! I’m thinking it’s time I make my own– cheaper and I’ll be even better! Beautiful presentation!

Marie – Those pictures are so mouth-watering. Would you believe I have 15 uncooked crab cakes in the freezer right now, because we decided at the last minute on Christmas eve that we couldn’t eat another thing (except for dessert). Your recipe is similar to mine, but I always sauté them in butter. Now that I’ve seen yours, I’m going to get or make one of those metal rings, and try baking them at high heat. It sure would be simpler when a crowd is here.

15, wow I’ll be right over! I love how they look with the ring mold more uniform, and the baking at high heat worked like a charm. Happy New Year Linda

Your crab cakes look scrumptious, Marie. I always fry mine in butter and I can’t wait to try baking them. I like the idea of leaving the butter out and the high temp will surely crisp up the panko. We are just getting into Dungenesd crab season in the Pacific NW. Happy New Year!

We always have crab cakes on Christmas Eve, since I make enough for 10 I make them a couple days ahead and then freeze them.