Crab Cake Bites!

The holidays are always such a swirl of dinners, parties and deliciousness!  In addition to all the other festivities, the month of December includes my birthday, the teenager’s birthday (who is now not a teenager anymore.  Sniffle.) and our anniversary.  So on those rare December evenings when we aren’t out celebrating I’ve been cooking light.  As in appetizers for dinner.  As in this quick and delicious tiny little crab cake bites…which of course would be fabulous as the opening act for one of the many holiday celebrations too!
Now, you DO have to spring for some nice lump crabmeat for these.  It ain’t cheap, but this recipe is going to make 24 of these delectable little numbers, and hey, we are WORTH it!  So go for it.  Tis the season.

The crabmeat gets mixed up with some whipped up cream cheese, some mayo, mustard,an egg yolk, parsley, and some seasonings.  Now grab another bowl and mix up some melted butter with panko breadcrumbs (these are those large, light breadcrumbs…sometimes they are kept in the international aisle of your friendly supermarket).

Here comes the fun part – we are going to make these all in your mini muffin pan. Spray the heck out of it with Pam, and then drop a teaspoon or so of the bread crumb mixture in each cup.  Press gently so the crumbs coat the bottom and come up a little ways on the side.  Now drop a tablespoon of the crab mixture into each cup on top of the breadcrumbs (I used my cookie scoop for this and it worked perfectly).  Pop it into the oven for about 25 minutes until they are nice and brown.  Now cool them for about 5 minutes, run a butter knife around the edge and pop them out.

All that’s left to do is add a teeny dollop of a topping made of mustard, mayo and chives on the top of each one and you have an adorable army of cute little crab cake bites.  They are terrific both warm and at room temperature, bood luck having them last long enough to make it to room temperature though…they are the very definition of “bet you can’t eat just one.”

Happy holiday whirlwind, everyone!

Crab Cake Bites!

Serves: 24 bites

  • 6 ounces lump crabmeat, drained and separated
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ⅔ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 1¼ cups panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 24 cup mini muffin tin liberally with Pam.
  2. Whip cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  3. Stir in crabmeat, ⅓ cup of the parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons mayo, 2 teaspoons mustard, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, Old Bay, egg yolk and 2 tablespoons parsley. Set aside.
  4. Mix together breadcrumbs, remaining cheese and melted butter.
  5. Place a heaping teaspoon of crumb mixture into each muffin cup and press into the bottom and partly up the sides. Top each with a tablespoon of crab mixture (a cookie scoop works great for this).
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Cool for 5 minutes in pan, then run a butter knife around each crab cake to gently loosen and remove from pan.
  7. Combine the topping ingredients (mayo, mustard and chives) until well blended and place a dollop on top of each crab cake bite. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe adapted just a bit from CHRISTMAS WITH SOUTHERN LIVING 2012



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  1. Karen Nelson says:

    December is a big month for your family in more ways than one!
    Happy Birthday to your daughter…
    Happy Anniversary to you and the Southern Husband<3

    Crab Bites = Yummy!!

  2. I’m a December baby, too!

    I love tiny crab cakes, but I hadn’t thought about making them in a muffin tin. Good idea. You could make them lighter without the cream cheese, and it’s really not needed — the egg will hold them together.

    Happy Hols!

  3. Karen Nelson says:

    …and Happy Birthday to you!!

  4. Sounds delicious! And I love that you don’t have to fry them. This is going on my Christmas Eve appetizer list. Thanks and happy holidays!

  5. I think my favorite part of all these holiday celebrations is the appetizers. In fact, I’d be happy if most people just dispensed with the main course because I’m so full by then anyway. :) Love these crab cake bites!

  6. Can you help – what is Old Bay Seasoning. Not heard of it in Australia.

  7. Hi. These look great! I was wondering if you could make them into a more traditional sized crab cake. Like maybe just use a cookie sheet or a full size muffin tin. How would that change the cooking time, recipe, taste, etc.? I am planning on topping them with a honey mustard dill caper sauce I have left over from a stuffed salmon recipe I made the other night…

    • I think you definitely could! I would take the cooking time up by about 50%…I think they will still taste the same. And obviously you will get fewer unless you increase all the ingredients. The sauce sounds wonderful!!

  8. Marv Kaplan says:

    Recipe looks great but I have some questions with reference to the directions.My wife is the Gourmet chef in our home. I on the other hand will always follow a recipe first before exploring the unknown. So here is my one question for clarification.

    The directions (#3) indicates to mix crabmeat,cheese, etc…. with 3 TBSP of Mayo and 2 TSP of mustard. These are the exact measurements on the ingredients list. Yet the last direction (#7) says to “combine the remaining Mayo, Mustard and Chives until….”.
    There is no remaining and the chives are not on the ingredient list. If you meant parsley, that also has no remains.
    Pleae advise

    • Hi Marv! Step number 7 refers to the ingredients for the topping – they are in the ingredient list below the items for the crab cakes. But I think I can make that step 7 clearer by saying “Combine all the topping ingredients” instead of the way I have it written, so thank you for the lead on that. Hope you love your crab cake bites!

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