Crab Cakes with Hot Pepper Aioli

crab cakes with hot pepper mayonnaiseI know, I know. Everybody’s got their own favorite crab cakes, whether from a restaurant or a secret recipe they make at home. It’s like barbecue, right? It just tastes wrong if you mess with those familiar flavors. So I — not so much of a seafood girl myself — am certainly not here to tell anyone how to make their crab cakes. But I am adding this recipe to my collection because it turns out my family really likes this meal. And we tested SO many recipes to get to this one. We’ll just leave it at: here’s a crab cake recipe I love. If you’re looking for one to become your go-to, I’d give this one a try! Thanks to Roanoke caterer Tracy Hamilton for sharing her crab cake recipe, which became the jumping off point for the recipe that follows.

Makes about 12 large or 24 small cakes


Crab cakes
  • 2 large eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup crushed Saltine crackers
  • 2 green onions, both white and green parts, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
  • 1/2 cup or more bread crumbs for dredging
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
Hot pepper aioli
  • 1 cup mayonnaise, homemade is my favorite
  • 2 small serrano peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice


  1. Make the sauce by combining all ingredients in blender. Blend until pepper is finely chopped and sauce forms. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2.  In large mixing bowl, combine eggs, crackers, green onions, bell pepper, cilantro, mayonnaise, Dijon, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and black pepper
  3. Add crab. Mix gently until all is well-combined.
  4. Pour bread crumbs into small bowl. Form mixture into large patties (size of hamburger bun) or small patties (size of a silver dollar). Dredge both sides in bread crumbs, adding more bread crumbs to the bowl as needed.
  5. Heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil and 1 Tbsp. butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté crab cakes for 2 to 3 minutes per side for large patties or about a minute per side for small patties, until golden brown. Add more oil and butter to pan as needed.
  6. Serve crab cakes warm, drizzled with hot pepper aioli.