Italian Crab and Shrimp Cake Appetizer

Thursday, May 21, 2020
Crab cakes are a popular seafood appetizer in Maryland where they were discovered in 1930, by Chef Crosby Gaige.

He actually introduced them in his cookbook the New York World's Fair Cook Book called Baltimore Crab Cakes.

The cakes are famous all over the surrounding areas of the Chesapeake Bay, particularly Maryland and Virginia where the crabbing industry thrives.

This recipe is more adapted to my own version of how I like the taste of crab cakes so not the original recipe.

I first tasted these on a cruise ship for the Royal Caribbean and fell in love with the flavors and these are a close copycat just not as pretty as theirs but absolutely delicious!

I love seafood and the ones I loved had a mixture of shrimp and lump crab in them served with a lemon butter sauce which is the recipe I wrote below.

I have to admit these are about spot on from the memory of what they tasted like and for those out there with fish allergies you can substitute the fish for cooked shredded chicken breast.

I love to recreate by remaking Copycat Recipes it's a fun adventure for me.

Check out the step by step instructions and scroll down to the printable recipe card for these fabulous crab and shrimp cake appetizers.

this is a crab and shrimp cake popular appetizer in the Maryland crabbing area in the usa. A copycat recipe on how to make them

What's The Big Difference?

You will find the original recipe for crab cakes all over the net Maryland style.

The biggest difference between my recipe and the original style is the seasoning.

They use old bay seasoning,  and the flavors in this crab cake are more of garlic and cajun seasoned cake with a buttery sauce to dip them in..

So if you are looking for the original crab cake flavors, these will not be those.

Mine has a little spicy heat to make your mouth tingle a bit.

Again you can adapt a recipe any way you like, add more or less, this is one that I make often we all love.

Leftovers are even great in a grilled lobster roll the second day, just reheat them in an air fryer.

this is a crab cake on a white plate with a fork and lemon wedge


  • When mixing them if they don't hold together add more water or wine 1 teaspoon at a time
  • If they are too wet add a little more bread crumb
  • Fry them crispy on both sides
  • Lower the heat after the crisp up on both side to cook them evenly all the way through
  • For best results, drizzle with lemon juice at the end or dip in the butter lemon sauce recipe below
  • Substitute any kind of fish you like, lobster, shrimp, scallops, salmon or even tuna
  • Always fold in the seafood at the end gently, then shape

these are crab cakes frying in a pan of butter

Ingredients You Will Need To Make Crab Cakes

scroll down to the recipe card for the printable measurements

  • egg
  • mayonnaise
  • granulated garlic powder
  • spicy brown mustard or use Dijon mustard
  • Pinot Grigio or another white wine you prefer
  • cajun seasoning
  • fresh lemon juice
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
  • Italian flavored bread crumbs
  • minced fresh garlic
  • fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • jumbo lump or backfin lump crabmeat, fresh or use canned
  • baby shrimp or small scallops
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • Option: for fish food allergies use shredded cooked chicken

these are crab cakes starting to brown in a large frying pan

More Seafood Recipes We Love

Seafood and Lemon Scampi
Seafood Chowder
Seafood Medley
Our Italian Christmas Eve

this is the mixture for crab and shrimp to make crab cakes in a large mixing bowl

Pin for later

this is a pin on how to make crab cakes with shrimp homemade

Easy Crab Appetizer Recipe

This is certainly an easy recipe for crab cakes to make.

The ingredients are pretty easy to find and simple pantry staples.

Just about everything goes into the bowl except just remember the crab is delicate so it should always be folded in at the end so it doesn't break.

The secret to a great crab cake is you want large pieces of delicious meat in them!

I hope you like my version, I love to get your comments and feedback so don't be shy comment away!

Crab and Shrimp Cakes, Crab and Shrimp Cake Appetizes, crab cake recipe, seafood cakes, fried crab and shrimp cakes, crab recipes, seafood recipes
fish, seafood, appetizers
Yield: 4 large or 8 small crab cakes

Italian Crab and Shrimp Cake Appetizer

Italian Crab and Shrimp Cake Appetizer

Prep time: 10 MCook time: 12 MTotal time: 22 M
This is a recipe for crab and shrimp appetizer cakes. I sometimes even use all crab or a trio of shrimp, crab and baby scallops. Mix and match however you like. These are delicious with my lemon butter sauce to dip in or just a drizzle of lemon over the top. A perfect appetizer or brunch entree.


  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard or use Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Pinot Grigio or another white wine you prefer
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1  teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1-1/4 cups Italian flavored bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Fold in last
  • (I use 1 pound of total seafood)
  • 8 ounces of the jumbo lump or backfin lump crabmeat, fresh or use  canned crabmeat,  8 ounces of baby shrimp (or use a mixture of baby shrimp, small bay scallops and crab)
  • Note: for fish allergies use shredded cooked chicken
  • For Frying:
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Garnish:
  • Lemon wedges for serving or see my Lemon Butter Sauce recipe for dipping in at the end of these instructions


  1. Mix the first 12 ingredients into a large bowl adding the seafood you're using last by folding in gently not to break the crab meat.
  2. Add the salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to your taste.
  3. Shape the crab mixture into 4 large or 8 small cakes.  
  4. Note: if too dry add more wine, if seem soggy, add more bread crumbs when shaping.
  5. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. 
  6. When the butter is frothy, add the cakes to the pan 
  7. Saute until dark golden brown on the underside, about 4 minutes. 
  8. Flip the cakes, reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue cooking until the other side is well browned 4 to 5 minutes.
  9. Garnish with lemon wedges or make this sauce below for dipping them in:
  10. Serve with Lemon Butter Sauce:
  11. 1/3 cup white wine
  12. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  13. 4 tablespoons butter
  14. 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  15. 1 teaspoon granulated  garlic powder or 2 cloves of finely minced chopped garlic
  16. 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  17. Place wine in a small saucepan, simmer over low to medium heat until reduced by half.
  18. Add cream and simmer gently until the mixture reaches a sauce-like consistency.
  19. Add butter, garlic, lemon juice, and parsley and stir until butter is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  20.  If the sauce is a little thin, simmer, stirring constantly until it reaches the desired consistency.
  21.  If the sauce is too thick and/or separated, add a little water (one teaspoon at a time) and stir or whisk vigorously until sauce is desired consistency. 
  22. Serve immediately.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Pin for later

this is a pin on how to make crab cakes with shrimp homemade

More Of Our Favorite Recipes To Try

Red Clam Sauce 
White Clam Sauce
Mussels, Shrimp and Calamari over Linguine
Grilled Lemon Garlic Scallops
Baked Haddock with buttery lobster
Scallops and Italian Bread crumbs
Lemon Grilled Mahi Mahi

this is a copycat recipe for crabs cakes but made with more Italian and Cajun seasonings than the original recipe

Disclosure: This recipe was originally shared in 2010. It was edited and re-published in 2020.


  1. Well, we're definitely seafood lovers and these look great. I think I'd plump for the tartare sauce as a topping.

  2. I love crab cakes but when paired with shrimp, I can only imagine how good this tastes!

  3. I love crab cakes but a lot of them have way too much other stuff added. I like as much crab as possible. I substitute the may for yogurt and it turns out pretty good.
    Your recipe looks so good. I'll be at the store this morning picking up some crab. :)

  4. Tasty appetizer Claudia, I love crab cakes! Crab and shrimp are the perfect seafood combo in my opinion.

  5. Love the addition of shrimp to the classic crab cake, they look amazing! Nicely done! :)

  6. Pretty cake, Claudia. I always look forward to crab cakes when I visit towns that have fresh crab in abundance. So I know I would love this-the ingredients sound so wholesome too!

  7. Yes, the combo of flavour is fabulous but the presentation is very beautiful!

  8. Crab cakes are my favorite appetizers that I like to make into my own meal! Love your presentation too.

  9. Lovely recipe. I think it's really nicely done!

  10. What a lovely blog!!!! I am greek but I love Italian cusine. Your recipes are fantastic!!I am going follow you , Best regards from the island of Crete-Greec

  11. I absolutely LOVE crab cakes. The addition of the shrimp is wonderful. I bet it tasted divine! Your presentation was lovely.

  12. I'm a huge seafood lover and you've definitely got a very pleasing recipe here :-D. I love that you used both crab and shrimp. These crab cakes look and sound delicious! What a great recipe! Thank you for sharing!

  13. This takes crab cakes to another level. Both shrimp and crab are so plump and sweet. They go well together.

  14. This is a such a nice variation on crab cakes, one of my favorite dishes. I'm looking forward to trying them with your creamy wine sauce, an excellent idea!

  15. Claudia, the shrimp included with the crab for the cakes is a great plus. Your appetizer looks wonderful!

    Bon appetit!

  16. I love crab cakes - such a good idea to use shrimp too! Your presentation is gorgeous!

  17. Another winner Claudia - love both shrimp and crab but together, they're unbeatable!

  18. Crab cakes are one of my favorite treats. These sound amazing!

  19. I am not sure how I missed this the first time around. Giant 2 thumbs up. Crab cakes and shrimp 2 of my favorites.

  20. I love crab cakes and adding shrimp make them even better!! They look perfect, Claudia!

  21. I adore crab cakes. These look so crisp and I could seriously devour the whole portion at no time!

  22. My husband loves seafood! Now that we re on the east coast, we have access to a lot of it but I haven't made him much yet. I need to try this!

  23. This was the perfect appetizer for my small dinner party I just had!! Thank you for sharing, it was a big hit!

  24. You're killing me Claudia! I haven't been able to eat shrimp, crab, lobster or any shellfish since I was 30 years old and developed this horrible allergy to them. But I remember their wonderful flavors to this very day and can say that these are probably divine! Enjoy!
    Stay safe!

  25. I love this recipe so much, Claudia! In fact, I'm thinking of making these for Christmas Eve as one of the "seven fishes!" Wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  26. I love this recipe so much, Claudia! In fact, I'm thinking of making it for Christmas Eve as one of the "seven fishes!" Love it - thanks for sharing - just in time :)

  27. This is such a delicious way to enjoy crab and shrimp together! Can't wait to make this for a holiday party.

  28. UMMM it's Italian AND crab AND shrimp. Of course it's amazing!

  29. Oh yum! Such an easy and flavor-packed appetizer! I miss having really good crab cakes since moving away from the Virginia/Maryland area.


Remember to use the search option for a recipe you're looking for and thanks for all your kind words and support. We love our readers all the best Claudia