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Maryland Backfin Crab Cake Sliders

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Delicious Maryland Backfin Crab Cake Sliders made with sweet backfin crab meat and a medley of spices served with a creamy Old Bay mayonnaise.

crab cake on a slider bun

Every Marylander and, in my case, Baltimorean has at least a handful of crab meat recipes. Even if you only have one, a good Crab Cakes recipe is it; it’s non-negotiable. Make these crab cakes with delicious Old Bay Mayo spread and a side of Crispy French Fries.

Ingredients needed to make Maryland crab cake

crab cake ingredients

Maryland blue crab backfin– This recipe will accommodate any type of crab meat you choose as long as you use a pound.
Saltine crackers
Mayo
Egg yolks
Pimentos
Old Bay
Mustard powder
Dried parsley
Cooking oil

The best crab meat for Maryland crab cakes: Backfin crab meat vs jumbo lump crab meat

a can of backfin crab meat

Backfin or lump crab meat is perfect for making crab cakes, soup, and dips. It has basically the same taste as jumbo lump crab meat but the pieces are smaller. Jumbo lump is good for making crab cakes and for fancier display in dishes like Creamy Old Bay Pasta.

backfin crab

As for which crab meat if best for making crab cakes, it really depends on what or whom you’re making the cakes for. I use jumbo lump for crab cakes mainly on special occasions. For this recipe, I use backfin instead of lump crab meat because to be totally honest, it’s just less expensive and it makes cakes just as good as jumbo lump meat.

How to pick clean canned crab meat

crab cartilage shell

To get started you will need to properly “pick” or “clean” the crab meat. This is an important step to avoid the unpleasantness of biting into the shell while enjoying your crab cake. Basically, you will need to pick through the crab meat for cartilage fragments missed during packing. A good brand will have very few pieces but it’s important to pick through each can of meat.

close up of a crab cake

The picking process isn’t difficult at all. I usually take a fingertip-full of meat into the palm of my hand and gently sift through it with my fingers feeling for shells to discard. Be careful not to shred the lumps while picking. In the end, your crab cakes should still show nice pieces of lump meat.

The best way to bind crab cakes

saltine crackers in a blender cup

How you bind the cakes is crucial. NO ONE likes a  bready crab cake. For me, the best ingredients to bind crab cakes together is milled saltine crackers and egg yolks. The saltines are practically dissolved by the mayo and egg yolk so all you taste is crab meat and spices.

To make saltine crumbs, add the crackers to a grinder into fine or put them into a storage bag and roll over the crackers with a rolling pin to crush.

How to make maryland crab cake sliders

crab meat mixed with ingredients

Add the picked crab meat to a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together the mayo, egg yolks, pimento, Old Bay, mustard powder, and dried parsley. Toss the crab meat with the cracker crumbs then add the mayo mixture. Use a rubber spatula and fold everything together to keep the lumps of meat intact while mixing.

uncooked crab cake

Shape the cakes into 12 mounds for sliders or 6 full-size crab cakes. Rush the mounds under parchment paper on a baking sheet in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour. (Note: you can flatten them into patties to fit better on buns or keep the rounded shape.)

fried crab

To fry, add oil to a pan or deep fryer and heat to 375. Remove crab cakes from the fridge and add 3-4 to the hot oil being sure that they don’t touch. Deep fry for 3 minutes or 2-3 minutes per side if pan-frying. 

Old Bay Mayo

old bay mayo on a french frie

Old Bay mayo is one of my favorites spreads for seafood sandwiches. I like to dip my fries in it as well. To make it, whisk together mayo and melted butter until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Serve immediately or refrigerate. It will solidify if refrigerated. Allow it to come to room temp for easy spreading. 

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*This recipe was updated on 9/22/2020 for improved content. It was first published on 10/5/2018.*

crab cake slider on a bun
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Maryland Backfin Crab Cake Sliders

Print Recipe
Delicious Maryland Backfin Crab Cake Sliders made with sweet backfin crab meat and a medley of spices served with a creamy Old Bay mayonnaise.
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:15 mins
Resting time:1 hr
Total Time:25 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Maryland blue crab meat backfin
  • 10 saltine crackers crushed
  • 1/2 c mayo
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp pimentos
  • 2 tsp Old Bay
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • oil for frying

Old Bay Mayo

  • 1/4 c mayo
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp Old Bay
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • pinch cayenne pepper optional
  • 12 slider buns

Instructions

  • Add the picked crab meat to a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together the mayo, egg yolks, pimento, Old Bay, mustard powder, and dried parsley. Toss the crab meat with the cracker crumbs then add the mayo mixture. Use a rubber spatula and fold everything together to keep the lumps of meat intact while mixing.
  • Shape the cakes into 12 mounds for sliders or 6 full-size crab cakes. Rush the mounds under parchment paper on a baking sheet in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour. (Note: you can flatten them into patties to fit better on buns or keep the rounded shape.)
  • To fry, add oil to a pan or deep fryer and heat to 375. Remove crab cakes from the fridge and add 3-4 to the hot oil being sure that they don’t touch. Deep fry for 3 minutes or 2-3 minutes per side if pan-frying.

Old Bay Mayo

  • Whisk together the mayo and melted butter until smooth. Follow with the Old Bay, mustard, worcestershire sauce, sugar, and cayenne if using. Serve immediately or refrigerate. It will solidify if refrigerated. Allow it to come to room temp for easy spreading. Serve immediately or refrigerate. It will solidify if refrigerated. Allow it to come to room temp for easy spreading.

Nutrition

Serving: 0g | Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 447mg | Potassium: 92mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Seafood
Keyword: crab cake, maryland, seafood
Servings: 12 crab cakes
Calories: 185kcal
Author: Ty

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