Shirley’s Original Crab Cakes

Developed by Shirley Phillips, co-founder and co-owner of Phillips Foods and Seafood Restaurants, this is the original crab cake recipe first used in Phillips Crab House in Ocean City, MD, in 1956, and is the same recipe used in all Phillips Seafood Restaurants today. Shirley's Eastern Shore roots are showcased in every bite of these delicious crab cakes!

Want to see this recipe in action? Check out our Shirley Phillips Crab Cakes Recipe Video.

Shirley's Original Crab Cakes

“I have tried & experimented with many recipes over the years. THIS IS THE One I HAVE TO Say IS…” Read more


8 oz. Phillips Crab Meat
1/2 tsp. Phillips Seafood Seasoning
1 egg
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp. ground mustard
1 Tbsp. Hellmann’s mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. mustard
1 1/2 tsp. melted butter
1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
1/4 c. breadcrumbs or Ritz crackers, finely crushed

Cooking Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for crab meat.
  • Gently fold in the crab meat, being careful not to break up the lumps.
  • Shape into cakes.
  • Pan fry or bake at 375° for 12-15 minutes or until evenly brown on each side and reaches an internal temperature of 165°.


I have tried & experimented with many recipes over the years. THIS IS THE One I HAVE TO Say IS THE BEST!!!! I have a few of my own touches I use. Like fresh bread crumbs that I make & others. I don’t always fry my crab cakes as well. I prefer to broil them. But love this recipe!!!

Everyone loves it! So easy. Baked is best. Bob w.

This recipe is awesome. Although I have not personally used it in about seven years, I see nothing has changed. But why should it, once a delicious recipe is pinned it should never change no matter how old it may get. Stay Bless! Sister Nakia Leach- Sedzro

THE BEST crab cakes recipe EVER. We live at the southernmost part of the NJ shore and appreciate a great crab cake. Make these often, for ourselves as well as guests, and they never fail a rave review! Thank you Mrs. Phillips!!! Your crab cakes are the benchmark of all.

For 20 years we lived in Silver Spring, MD, & made frequent weekend pilgrimages to Phillips’ Inner Harbor location for crab cake sandwiches (add mustard &/or tartar sauce & lettuce)– a lunch that can’t be beat, & good at diner too. We live in Utah. Can’t get Phillips Crab Meat, but can get other brands. The key is to get Blue Crab (a type of crab) meat. Can’t get Phillips Seasoning either, but Old Bay works very well, and if you can’t get either, Season-All + pepper is the same thing.

I think it’s great!

This is the BEST crab cake recipe ever.

Delicious! The only recipe I use for Maryland crab cakes!

Love love this recipe easy and delicious

Shirley … I have tried all the rest but yours is by far “THE BEST ” . Sincerely m. Salles.


Simply the best. — Kevin M., Sarasota, Fla.

Love it they are really good ….

Yum!! Super easy & fast dinner! My husband and I loved it! I will definitely make this again!

Best crabcake recipe ever!!

It is better if you cut back on the mustard.

Delicious! Best crab cake recipe I have found.


This is, hands down, the best crab cake recipe ever!!!! This recipe is on the 1 LB. tub of crab meat (doubled, of course). I didn’t change a thing and it was perfect! I will definitely make this again. I am thinking of trying it with salmon, as well.

Great recipe, but you can also substitute the crab with either salmon, mahi, shrimp or scallops. I also add finely chopped celery, garlic, onion and fresh cilantro and 1/2 Tbsp. hot sauce for a extra kick sometimes! Have fun, that’s the love of cooking!

This recipe is the only way to make crab cakes! I am a Marylander and believe me, you can’t go wrong. My husband is totally crazy about his food, but loves the Phillips crab cake, so I make it for him every few months.

I grew up in MD and have eaten at Philips many times. I eat a Phillips Crab Cake everytime I have a layover at BWI. The only great cake I get in Florida is when I make this cake. Thanks!

My first time making crab cakes and these were easy, delicious and wowed the family! I forgot the regular mustard and never missed it! Can’t wait to make them again!

Used this for the first time tonight exactly as written. I have made many crab cake recipes before, and this is hands down the BEST.