Recipe: Citrus crab cakes

Recipe: Citrus crab cakes

Image: Susie Cushner


Recipe: Citrus crab cakes

Indulge in this delicious crab cake recipe that offers a tasty citrus crunch.

Baked rather than fried, these crab cakes are small enough to eat in a single bite. They have a golden, crisp coating and are lusciously smooth inside. The crunchy exteriors come from a mixture of panko crumbs and grated Parmesan that is pressed onto the bottoms of mini-muffin tins. A melange of fresh crab, cream cheese, and citrus zests is spooned on top and covered with more panko mix. These miniature crab cakes, which need about a half hour in the oven, are equally good as sides or as openers for a summer party.




  • 8 oz/226 g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup/90 g finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup/60 ml sour cream
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • ½ tsp grated lemon zest
  • 4 tbsp chopped chives
  • Generous ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • Generous pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 6 oz/170 g fresh crabmeat, preferably unpasteurized, drained well
  • 4 tbsp/55 g unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the muffin tins
  • 1 cup/115 g panko crumbs
  • ¼ cup/60 ml purchased mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard


1 With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup/30 g of the Parmesan and the egg. Continue to beat until blended, about 1 minute. Add the sour cream, orange and lemon zests, the 1 tbsp chives, salt, and cayenne. Beat until combined well, about 30 seconds, and then fold in the crabmeat. (The filling can be made 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.)

2 Arrange a rack at center position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C/gas 4. Butter the muffin tins generously.

3 Place the panko crumbs, remaining ½ cup/60 g Parmesan, and the 2 tbsp chives in a small bowl. Add the 4 tbsp/55 g melted butter and toss with a fork until evenly moistened. Press 1 tbsp of the panko mixture onto the bottom of each muffin cup, and then spoon 1 tbsp of the crab mixture into each. Sprinkle a generous 1 tsp of the panko mixture over each. (You may have some panko mixture left over.)

4 Bake the crab cakes until golden and set, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and cool in pans for 5 minutes. Run a small sharp knife around each crab cake and gently lift it out. (The crab cakes can be prepared 2 hours ahead; arrange on a baking sheet and let stand uncovered at room temperature. Rewarm in a preheated 350-degree-F/180-degree-C/gas-4 oven for 6 to 8 minutes.)

5 Arrange the crab cakes (bottom-sides up) on a serving platter. Whisk the mayonnaise and mustard together and place a small dollop on top of each crab cake. Sprinkle the crab cakes with the remaining chives. Serve warm.

Prep time: 20 minutes.

Makes 24 crab cakes.

Note: Fresh crabmeat works best in this recipe. If you use pasteurized crab, drain it well and press to remove any excess moisture.




Excerpted from Sunday Brunch by Betty Rosbottom Copyright © 2012. Photography by Susie Cushner. Excerpted by permission of Chronicle Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.




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Recipe: Citrus crab cakes