Snyder’s crabcakes

Years ago I asked my sister’s fiancé if he had a good recipe for crabcakes. Not only had he grown up in and around Baltimore, which is arguably the home of the crabcake, but also he had trained as chef. Granted his specialty was pastries, but still I figured he was a better source than most. So without skipping a beat he rattled off the following recipe. I scribbled notes as fast as I could. The recipe was spot on. The crabcakes were amazing and I far as I was concerned the wedding was a go.

It was only after the wedding that my brother-in-law admitted that he had made the recipe up on the spot. Talk about shock and awe. I was downright impressed. Here I had been faithfully following his recipe for years and the author had simply made it up. It was in that moment that I realized that cooking is an improvisational sport. How the hell a baker knew that I will never know.


  • 8oz can crabmeat
  • 2 tsp old bay
  • 2 slices white bread
  • dash of milk
  • 1 tsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • clarified butter


  • large bowl
  • skillet


  1. Put bread in large bowl and sprinkle with milk to moisten.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients with the exception of the crabmeat and mix well.
  3. Add crab meat and mix lightly.
  4. Press balls into crab cakes and then put in refrigerator for ½ an hour.
  5. Fry in clarified butter.

What you should know

If you don’t have clarified butter don’t fret. Regular butter will do. Just be sure to gently heat the butter and keep it at a medium low setting to prevent the butter from burning.

Be careful not to over stir the crab. Ideally you want big lumps of crab in your crabcake. That’s why the crab meat gets added last.

Feel free to improvise. The guy that created the recipe certainly does. He wouldn’t even remember this one if it weren’t for my need to record it.

This lesson in improvisation taught me more about cooking than a hundred cookbooks.

Re: Snyder’s crabcakes

These were terrific and easy. Hats off to your brother-in-law

Re: Snyder’s crabcakes

Indeed - check out his other recipes.

Re: Snyder’s crabcakes