Maryland Crab Cakes with a Maple Citrus Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Prep time: ~ 10 minutes
  • Cook time: ~ 20-25 minutes


  • Crab cakes:
  • 4 Maryland crab cakes
  • Olive oil
  • Bread crumbs
  • Sauce:
  • 3 limes peeled
  • 3 chunks of pineapple
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/8 to 1/4 red chili paste
  • 1/4 ginger purée
  • Orange or grapefruit slices

I needed a healthy meal that I could serve the family in under 30 minutes. I choose crab cakes since my grandfather always said they are “brain food”. They are great plain but I was hoping for a little twist my daughter would enjoy.

I created this citrus sauce so it is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods. It is light, sweet and refreshing. The orange slices look beautiful on the plate and are delicious this time of year.

Star Provisions/Bacchanalia makes the best crab cake sauce. I called them and they use serrano peppers for the kick. You can add them to the sauce if you like. They also add grapefruit and avocado as garnish. If you have not eaten at Bacchanalia, treat yourself and order the Crab Fritters with the Citrus Sauce. They are amazing.


To make this simple recipe, first preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Add your skillet so it gets nice and hot. While it is heating, pour olive oil on the crab cakes and sprinkle the bread crumbs on top. Drizzle olive oil on the skillet and put the crab cakes on top. Cook for 10 minutes and turn over. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Make sure they are cooked in the middle since there are raw eggs in the mix.My son was not happy he was eating only fruit and veggies tonight but he needed them!

Make the sauce while they are cooking. In your blender, add 3 limes peeled, 3 chunks of pineapple, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 6 tablespoons maple syrup, 3 tablespoons water, 1 garlic clove, 1/8 to 1/4 red chili paste depending on taste, 1/4 teaspoon of ginger purée and blend until smooth. Taste and add more maple syrup if you want a sweeter sauce or more pepper paste for more of a kick.

I forgot to include the garlic clove and Maple syrup in the photo above. I use Whole Foods Organic Dark Amber Grade A Maple Syrup.

Cut up some orange slices and place around the plate. Place the crab cake in the middle and pour the sauce on top. Drizzle some olive oil and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the crab cake.  Garnish with some fresh parsley.

If you have time, you can make these crab cakes from scratch using the recipe below from my father’s cookbook. I did not have time so I bought mine at Whole Foods. I love that store.


The Ultimate Cookbook- Real Maryland Crab Cakes

Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 4-6 minutes

1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
l tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs, divided
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 pound back fin or lump crab meat, picked over for shell
2 tablespoons peanut oil for frying

In a large bowl, mix the egg, mayonnaise, salt, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, mustard, lemon juice, 1/4 cup bread crumbs and Old Bay until well-blended. Gently fold in the crab meat. Using a half-cup measure to scoop up crab mixture, gently mold into 6 cakes. Shake the remaining bread crumbs on a plate and dip the crab cakes into the crumbs to lightly cover. Heat the peanut oil in a skillet over medium heat and fry cakes on each side for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden and cooked through. Yield: 6 crabcakes


Crab Cakes
Preparation time: 25 minutes Cooking time: 8 minutes

3 cups saltine cracker crumbs, divided
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup diced onion
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
¼ teaspoon hot sauce
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, drained
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Lemon-Dill Mayonnaise
Red Bell Pepper Sauce
Garnishes: mixed salad greens, lemon slices, fresh parsley sprigs

Stir together 2 cups cracker crumbs and next 9 ingredients; fold in crabmeat. Shape into 10 (2-inch) patties; dredge in remaining 1 cup cracker crumbs. Melt butter in oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add crab cakes; cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden. Serve with Lemon-Dill Mayonnaise and Red Bell Pepper Sauce. Garnish, if desired. Yield: 10 appetizer servings.

Clarissa McConnell
Orlando, Florida

Lemon-Dill Mayonnaise

1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¾ teaspoon dried dillweed
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)

Stir together first 5 ingredients and, if desired, hot sauce in a bowl. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Yield: 1 1/4 cups.

Red Bell Pepper Sauce

1 red bell pepper
½ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons sherry
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

Place bell pepper on an aluminum foillined baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes or until pepper is blistered, turning once. Place pepper in a heavy-duty zip lock plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes to loosen skin. Peel pepper; remove and discard seeds. Process pepper and 1/4 cup mayonnaise in a food processor until smooth. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup mayonnaise, sherry and remaining ingredients. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Yield: 1¼ cups.

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