Crab Cake Recipes Throughout History - Boxhill Crabcakes


Crab Cake Recipes Throughout History

The crab cake has a long, storied history which goes back several hundred years. In fact you can take it back even further if you consider the fact that a crab cake is basically a minced meat cake/patty, and meat cakes have been around since ancient times. It is thought that English settlers introduced the idea of a crab cake to the colonies as early as the late 17th century. Egg, bread crumbs, and spices were popular as the filler in the cake both for their taste and because they were economical and made one’s supply of crab last longer. However, these early recipes didn’t refer to their creations as crab cakes, instead opting for names like crab croquettes, crab patties, dressed crabs, or fried crabs. The first appearance of “crab cake” in print dates to the 1939 New York World’s Fair Cook Book, where they’re written as “Baltimore crab cakes.”


Check out a list of old crab cake recipes at this link. Below is one from 1685 to get you started:


“To fry Crabs
Take the meat out of the great claws being first boiled, flour and fry them and take the meat out of the body strain half if it for sauce, and the other half to fry, and mix it with grated bread, almond paste, nutmeg, salt, and yolks of eggs, fry in clarified butter, being first dipped in batter, put in a spoonful at a time; then make sauce with wine-vinegar, butter, or juyce of orange, and grated nutmeg, beat up the butter thick, and put some of the meat that was strained into the sauce, warm it and put it in a clean dish, lay the meat on the sauce, slices of orange over all, and run it over with beaten butter, fryed parasley, round the dish brim, and the little legs round the meat.”


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