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Gluten Free Maryland Crab Cake Minis

Yes, I currently live in Southern California, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss my roots.  I grew up in Maryland, went to college in Maryland and didn’t move away until my husband received orders from the military to be stationed elsewhere.  After 10 years of living all over the country and overseas, I still have a bit of that Baltimore long “O” when I say the words “home”, “ocean”, and “phone” (not sure what I mean? Think the movie musical Hairspray).  I also miss the famous Chesapeake Bay blue crab and all of its sweetness and buttery flavor. Fortunately, we travel back to Maryland a few times a year and I am sure to pick up a can of jumbo lump and we fly back to California with it carrying it in a small cooler with us right onto the plane.

When it comes to authentic crab cakes, you can’t use just any type of crab meat.  Make sure you choose “fresh-picked” or “hand-picked” LUMP CRAB MEAT which means the crab meat has already been cooked within the crab and picked straight from the shell before being packaged. The lump crab meat will make all the difference as the meat from the various places on the crab does taste different.  For example, claw meat won’t be as flavorful and backfin is a bit flakier and may make the crab cake crumble easier. If you choose to use canned crab meat, make sure you find it in the refrigerated section of your grocery store and the fresher meat, the better. You can ask your grocer in the seafood section if they have 1 pound tubs of it behind the counter.

Typically when I make crab cakes, I don’t measure my recipe out.  I grew up using these same ingredients, but putting them all together without even thinking of the amounts and added everything to taste.  I have found a nice balance with this recipe and the flavors and binders of the crab cakes all blend together very well. My son even got in on the action this time and had a blast mashing up the crackers for me!  

This recipe is perfect for an appetizer or as a main course. Feel free to add some tartar or cocktail sauce for dipping, some steamed vegetables on the side or you can stick with Maryland tradition and enjoy them with grilled corn on the cob or fresh baked cornbread.

Gluten Free Maryland Crab Cake Minis

Author: Britt from Stressless Lifestyle 

Prep Time 10-45 minutes

Total Time  25-60 minutes

Feeds a family of 4-5


  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning

  • 1 lemon

  • ¾ cup crushed gluten free crackers

  • 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat


  1. Whisk together the filler in a large bowl.  This includes: the eggs, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce, Old Bay, and lemon juice (squeezed from half the lemon). 

  2. In a gallon sized bag, place gluten free crackers and smash them down to crumbs. Stir the cracker crumbs into the filler.

  3. Place crab meat on top of fillers. With a rubber spatula or large spoon, very gently and carefully fold together. You don’t want to break up that crab meat too much!

  4. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.

  5. Preheat the oven to the broil setting. Generously grease a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray or line with a silicone baking mat.

  6. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, portion out the crab cake mixture into 12-14 mounds on the baking sheet. Use your hands to compact each individual mound into a tight ball so none of the ingredients are falling apart without flattening them. 

  7. Broil for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges and on top. Drizzle each with the remaining half of the lemon with fresh lemon juice and serve warm.

  8. Any leftover crab cakes can be kept for 5 days when tightly stored and refrigerated or freeze them for up to 3 months.


Chilling the ingredients all together makes such a huge difference in how well the crab and filler ingredients bond together and so they don’t fall apart while cooking. Additionally, broiling instead of baking is also key when making the authentic Maryland Crab Cake. Refer to the blog post above in order to understand what considerations to make when choosing the types of crab and why. If you choose to use regular crackers, you may only need one egg for the filler.  Gluten free crackers tend to soak up more of the liquid than non-gluten free crackers.

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