Parmesan-Crusted Crab Cake Bites and A Winner!


I’m always hoping to reel in some quick and easy recipes for the holiday season, so I was hooked by this recipe for miniature crab cakes that are baked, rather than panfried, and that I found in

Christmas with Southern Living’s 2012 edition!


The crab mixture can be made a day in advance, then the bite-size cakes are formed and baked in a mini muffin tin with a crust of Parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs!

This is a winner of recipe and one I’ll use again for New Year’s Eve!


Parmesan-Crusted Crab Cake Bites

12 servings. Hands-on time, 18 minutes. Total time, 48 minutes.

6 oz. fresh lump crabmeat, drained (I used Bay Beyond Backfin Lump Crabmeat)

2 (3 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

3 Tbsp. mayonnaise

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

¾ tsp. Old Bay seasoning (I used Cheasapeake Bay seasoning)

½ tsp. lemon zest

1 egg yolk

1 ½ Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1 ¼ cup Japanese breadcrumbs (panko)

¼ cup butter, melted

Chive Aioli


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease 2 (12-cup) miniature muffin pans. (I used a 24 cup mini muffin pan). Pick crabmeat, removing any bits of shell.

Stir cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Add 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese and next 6 ingredients, stir until smooth. Fold in crabmeat and parsley.


Combine remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and melted butter in a medium bowl, toss with fork until breadcrumbs are moistened.

Spoon 1 Tbsp. breadcrumb mixture into each muffin cup, press into bottom and up sides to form crust. Spoon 1 Tbsp. crab mixture into each crust.


Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool in pans 5 minutes. Run a knife around edges of crab cakes to loosen, gently lift cakes from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature topped with Chive Aioli.


Chive Aioli

Makes ½ cup. Prepare up to a day in advance, cover & chill.

½ cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove, pressed.

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover & chill.


A perfect bite for your holiday entertaining!

You can find a printable recipe, here.


The winner of my Blue Crab Bay Giveaway is

Kathi Layfield!


Kathi, please email me your mailing address and your Blue Crab Dinnerware will be on its way to you!

Congratulations Kathi and thanks to all who entered!

Parmesan-Crusted Crab Bites with Chive Aioli

Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

 Metamorphosis Monday

  73 comments for “Parmesan-Crusted Crab Cake Bites and A Winner!

  1. Gay
    December 19, 2012 at 5:08 am

    Oh my, I’ve been working away all night and those look delicious. They might have to get made for Christmas brunch at my brother’s house. We’re down the road from Charlottesville and they just opened a Steinmart. I couldn’t help thinking of you. Merry Christmas.

  2. Happier Than A Pig in Mud
    December 19, 2012 at 5:14 am

    Your crab bites look amazing Mary! Pretty serving platter too! Congrats to Kathi:@)

  3. December 19, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Thank you so very much, Mary. I can’t wait to get these dishes, they are just gorgeous. You have made my Christmas even more special! I will definately be making the above recipe for Parmesan-Crusted Crab Cake Bites to be served on these dishes. Thank you again and Happy Holidays. I look forward to even more of your wonderful blog posts in the coming year.
    xoxo, Kathi

  4. December 19, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Congratulations to Kathi! This is Pam, founder of Blue Crab Bay. These crab bites look awesome and my husband is going to make them too! Thanks so much for all of your help this year, Mary. I hope to meet you soon.

  5. Pondside
    December 19, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Those little crab bites look delicious! How clever…..they don’t look too complicated and they would be such a treat. Congratulations to Kathi!

  6. December 19, 2012 at 9:05 am

    I love crab cakes. Yours look delish, Mary!

  7. December 19, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I am so glad my friend sent me to your blog this morning. (I had not been “blogging” in awhile!). This recipe is fabulous! I cannot wait to try it and to share it in one of my cooking classes. It’s a perfect recipe for the DAH mini muffin pans. Thanks for sharing the recipe! (I think this is the first year in about 20, that I did not get the Christmas with Southern Living.)

  8. December 19, 2012 at 10:41 am

    This looks like a delicious recipe! And it’s baked! Bonus! I love the serving platter you are displaying too, It always amazes me how all the blogs show such beautiful serving pieces and you never see the same thing. My Motto is “Presentation is Everything” and that is one of the reasons I enjoy Home is Where the Boat Is, your attention to detail. Have a Wonderful Christmas.

  9. December 19, 2012 at 10:56 am

    hmm looks yummy!

  10. December 19, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I JUST asked Ramon last night what we should do for New Year’s Eve around here since we’re not going out. We decided to do some fun foods, and crab cakes were at the top of the list. I am SO gonna use this recipe to make it less fattening!!!!! Right on time!!!!!!!!!! Merry Christmas!!!

  11. December 19, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Congratulations, Cathi! Now this looks like a great appetizer for a Christmas open house. :D Yum!

  12. December 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Congratulations to Kathi for winning this fun dinnerware!

    Mary, This recipe is a keeper for sure..thanks for sharing it!

  13. anon
    December 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    congrats to kathi, of course that makes the rest of us quite crabby…

    but at least you provided a recipe!

    thanks for the visit, good to hear from you again, in case you are to busy this season i will say merry xmas now, woke up to 20 degrees this morn, my morning beach walk will be beyond brisk :-( another good book for you, bernadette where are you.

    keep the home fires burning, ho ho and thanks for all your merriment over the years~

  14. December 19, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Delightful little crabby bites, Mary! We just had crab cakes last night ;) We love crab meat here!

  15. December 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Oh my, these sound delicious! I will make these for a small appetizer for our Christmas eve celebration. Who doesn’t love crab cakes and I love the idea of bite sized ones. I may do them for New Years eve too!!! Do you get the Christmas issue each year? I have never gotten it. I still haven’t looked at my magazine! I so look forward to all you will have to share with us in the coming year. My sister gets here tomorrow so I amy have VERY limited time on the computer. I want to wish you and your family a most merry and blessed Christmas, mary. XO, Pinky

  16. December 20, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Ahh, I am wishing my name was Kathi Layfield right now! What a fabulous Christmas surprise for her.

    I kept reading the recipe and with each ingredient I was singing, Oh, yum, yum, yum…yum, yum, yum. These sound so wonderful and what a fun and easy recipe compared to pan frying.

    Have a very wonderful Christmas dear.

  17. December 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I love anything with crabmeat, so I am definitely saving this recipe. I could go for one now, actually.

  18. December 20, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Oh my goodness! These look like heaven. I am making appetizers tomorrow…this will be perfect! Thank you!

  19. December 20, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    These look fabulously yummy! Hope I have a chance to try them and soon!!

  20. December 21, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Lucky, lucky gal that Kathi…..the appetizer looks wonderful..and knowing that it is baked is even more wonderful!

  21. December 21, 2012 at 8:16 am

    I love crab and I so need appetizer ideas. Pinning it.

  22. December 22, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Next party I’m bringing these, my boater friends will love them. Thanks for sharing

  23. December 23, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Must try these! They look delicious – thank you so much for sharing the recipe!!

  24. December 23, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    These look so yummy!! I’ve never Mae crab cakes, but love them, and I think when I finally get up the nerve to try, this will be the one!! Thank you for sharing at On the Menu Monday, and Merry Christmas!!
    ~April @DimplesAnd Delights

  25. December 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    yum! I just want to rip these out of the screen and eat them! they look so yummy! I’d love for you to share at my holiday recipes link party if you have a chance!

  26. January 2, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    I pinned these right away — and I’ll be making them in our empty nest “just for us.” Love your blog!

  27. June 3, 2013 at 3:19 am

    Can anyone tell me what the Old Bay or Cheasapeake Bay seasoning is made up of, as I live in Brisbane Australia and we are able to catch mainly 3 different types of crabs. I would like to make this recipe as it sounds delicious. We have blue swimmer, mud and spanner crabs. My favourite are the blue swimmer sand crabs as they so sweet, especially when you take them out of the crab pot’s, cook them in the sea water and cool down in ice water, then the fun begin’s as you start to peel them and cannot resist to try a little bit or a lot.

    • June 3, 2013 at 5:21 am

      The label on Cheasapeake Bay seasoning reads: Salt, mustard, red pepper, celery, paprika, black pepper, herbs and spices.

  28. Moose
    June 17, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Can these be frozend and reheated successfully?

    • June 17, 2013 at 11:23 am

      I’ve never frozen them we’ve always eaten them warm from the oven.

  29. Michelle Coletta
    September 18, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Thank you for sharing Mary. I cannot wait to try these Friday evening for a gathering I am attending. Sounds yummy!

  30. Lauren
    December 17, 2013 at 2:14 am

    Congratulations, Kathi!! You are so lucky not only for winning the makings for that luscious crab but the gorgeous serving plate. Mary, that was a beautiful, generous Christmas gift!!

  31. December 27, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Boy, do THESE look yummy, Mary!! Not too labor intensive, either.
    You always come up with the greatest recipes & I’ve noticed that most are from So. Living. I need to go read that cookbook my DD gave me on T’day!!!!! LOL

  32. Roni
    December 6, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Can you put these together the day before & bake the the day of.

    • December 6, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      You can make the crabmeat mixture/filling and the chive aioli the day before. The day of, make the breadcrumb mixture, spoon the filling in and then bake :)

  33. January 5, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    I won “best dish” designation last night with this appetizer. Progressive dinner with friends and the crab bites were a hit! They were delicious and not too hard to make. Thanks for sharing!

    • January 5, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      Hurray for the best dish award! So glad they were a hit :)

  34. chris
    January 25, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    I made these today, my husband couldn’t get enough, thank you for sharing this recipe.

  35. February 13, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    In the process of making these for tomorrow. Can’t wait to try them! Thanks for sharing!

  36. Verla
    March 24, 2015 at 9:37 am

    I would like to use the right Parmesan cheese is it the fresh bag kind like in the cheeses or the dried powdered kind you shake on spaghetti . So looking forward to making these.
    Thank you

    • March 24, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      You want grated parm. I’ve used both freshly grated and the shaker kind. Just make sure it’s real parmesan for best flavor.

      • Verla
        March 24, 2015 at 2:24 pm

        Thank you

  37. Beth
    August 3, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    These look amazing. I notice that you say they can be served at room temperature. I would like to make them and bring them to an outdoor event. Do you think that I can bake them, cool slightly, and then pack up to bring them to be served about an hour later? Thank you.

    • August 3, 2015 at 5:46 pm

      They’re a crowd pleaser! Yes, I’ve done that before :)

      • Beth
        August 3, 2015 at 5:50 pm

        Wonderful. Thank you for such a quick response!

  38. Deb Rose
    August 26, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    Could you please give us the nutritional information on these delightful crab cakes? Thank you so much!

  39. Michelle
    September 11, 2015 at 2:10 am

    *These* look wonderful.
    If so, what would *you* recommend for make-ahead steps.

    • September 11, 2015 at 7:13 am

      Hi Michelle, The crab filling and the Chive Aioli can both be made a day ahead. :)

  40. Carrie Wilkens
    November 1, 2015 at 10:14 am

    These look delicious, Would these be good if made ahead and reheated? My oven will be busy.

    • November 1, 2015 at 10:15 am

      Yes, I’ve reheated my leftovers before :)

  41. Mary
    December 2, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Hi Mary,
    Is there a way to print just the recipe? So may of your recipes are keepers!

    • December 2, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      Yes, there is a link for the printable recipe. It’s at the bottom of the post highlighted in red :)

  42. Tim George
    December 14, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Nearly all of the comments are in advance of making these. This comment is post recipe. While I like the concept and they certainly looked good, the crab flavor was lacking and there was too much breading. The ratio of cream cheese, parmesan and mayonnaise to crab was too high and the crab flavor really did not present itself well.

    If I were to make these again, I would double the amount of crab relative to the cream cheese, increase the amount of Old Bay, and do a better job of pressing the crust in to the mini-cupcake tray to minimize the impact of the breading.

    For the Chive Aioli, I added a tsp or two of Old Bay to tie the two flavors together.

    It may have been my execution, but this recipe needs a little tweaking to be called Crab Cake bites – and this comes from a guy who lives in Annapolis and is very familiar with blue crab.

    • December 15, 2015 at 8:02 am

      Hi Tim, Preferences about crab cakes seem to vary wildly. We love the panko-parm crust and serve these bites every year for our New Year’s Eve party and they’re a hit. If you make this recipe again adjusting the ratio of crab-to-filling to your taste, please leave another comment with your changes.

  43. Ann Lynch
    February 6, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Do you think I could make these in regular muffin tins for a dinner entree?

    • February 6, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      I wouldn’t recommend it with the ratio of crab to filling in a regular muffin tin, I’d be afraid they would fall apart.

  44. Jane S.
    August 9, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    These look really good, but I’m allergic to shellfish. Could I substitute with canned tuna or salmon?

  45. Randa Steinmeyer
    September 7, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Are these good heated next day? Wanting to take to a work baby shower….

  46. Valerie
    October 27, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Did you grate fresh Parmesan cheese? I used the shaker Parmesan (in hind sight that was probably a bad idea) and the bottoms just disintegrated when picked up. Other than that they were delicious and I would love to make them again if fresh Parmesan is the trick.

    • October 27, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      I did but the shaker variety would probably work if you allow them to cool some before removing them from the pan. Also make sure you press the panko/parm mixture in firmly with the back of a spoon. :)

  47. carol poper
    December 14, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Can I use Dungeness crab for this recipe?

    • December 14, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      Any fresh lump crab meat would be fine :)

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