Mini Crab Cake Appetizer

This Mini Crab Cake Appetizer is rich and flavorful and reminiscent of the full size dinner entree.  But even more fun!This Mini Crab Cake Appetizer is rich and flavorful and reminiscent of the full size dinner entree.  But even more fun!

Is there a better time of year for appetizers than the period before New Year’s?  You’re really used to eating good food–and what’s tastier than a great appetizer? 

And besides using them as hors d’oeuvres before dinner, there is the option of making a whole dinner out of appetizers. (For more suggestions from some of my blogging friends, see the end of this post).  

Now that’s a good dinner in my mind! This Mini Crab Cake Appetizer is rich and flavorful and reminiscent of the full size dinner entree. But even more fun!

This mini crab cake appetizer is as tasty as the crab cake dinner entree, but stretches much better for a crowd.  Or perfect if you want just a touch of seafood.  Or planning ahead for next year’s Feast of Seven Fishes.  Yes, pretty sure that’s the route I’m going in 2021 when I can have a crowd again!

The recipe came from a long ago blogger party, enhanced from the Bon Appétit original by local blogger Erica.  It was a big hit there and I’ve made it a number of times since.  This Mini Crab Cake Appetizer is rich and flavorful and reminiscent of the full size dinner entree. But even more fun!

The recipe is elegant, tasty and easier than it looks–other than getting it out of the pan.  The first time I made it, I sprayed the pan with PAM and cooked them slightly longer than called for and I was able to knock them out by banging the pan upside down over a plate.  When that hasn’t worked I’ve nudged out each individual mini-cake with a thin knife.   This Mini Crab Cake Appetizer is rich and flavorful and reminiscent of the full size dinner entree. But even more fun!

How to Make Mini Crab Cake Appetizer

As I mentioned this mini crab cake appetizer is easy (for complete instructions, see the recipe below)!  You simply:

Beat cream cheese by hand or with mixer until smooth.  Add most of the remaining ingredients (except the panko topping) and fold in the crabmeat.

Toss panko, ½ cup Parmesan and 2T chopped chives in a small bowl and drizzle with butter.  Press 1 rounded spoonful panko mixture into bottom of greased muffin cup to form the crust.

Spoon rounded tablespoon crab mixture on top of each panko mixture.  Sprinkle more panko mixture over tops of each crab cake.

Bake and serve with dollop of lemon-dill sauce.

Crab cakes out of oven

Crab cakes out of oven

DO AHEAD TIP: Can be made 2 hours ahead. To reheat, set  on baking sheet and rewarm in 350°F oven 6 to 8 minutes.

 

Mini Crab Cake Appetizer

Mini Crab Cake Appetizer

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This Mini Crab Cake Appetizer is rich and flavorful and reminiscent of the full size dinner entree.  But even more fun!

Ingredients

Crab Cakes:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup finely grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • Zest from 1 small lemon (reserve lemon for dill sauce below)
  • ½ finely diced red pepper
  • 2 scallions (white parts only)
  • 3 T chopped chives, divided
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 6 oz fresh lump crabmeat, coarsely shredded
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup melted butter, plus more to grease the muffin pans

Lemon Dill Sauce:

  • 1/4 c sour cream
  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • chopped fresh dill
  • juice from lemon zested for crab cakes above
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

To make lemon dill sauce, mix all sauce ingredients. Store in refrigerator until needed.

Beat cream cheese by hand or with mixer until smooth.  Add ¼ cup parmesan, egg, sour cream, orange zest, lemon zest, red pepper, scallions, 1 T chives, salt & cayenne pepper.  Fold in the crabmeat.

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter or spray the muffin pan. Toss panko, ½ cup Parmesan and 2T chopped chives in a small bowl.  Drizzle melted butter over, tossing until evenly moistened.  Press 1 rounded spoonful panko mixture into bottom of each muffin cup to form the crust.

Spoon rounded tablespoon crab mixture on top of each panko mixture.  Sprinkle rounded teaspoon of panko mixture over tops of each crab cake.

Bake until golden on top and set, about 35 minutes.  Remove from pan and serve with dollop of lemon-dill sauce.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 143Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 318mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g

Nutrition data accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.

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This Mini Crab Cake Appetizer is rich and flavorful and reminiscent of the full size dinner entree.  But even more fun!

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17 thoughts on “Mini Crab Cake Appetizer

  1. Louise

    Hi Inger!

    Sounds like you’ve been one busy “momma”, lol…I don’t know what it is about having older kids. People think you have more time on your hands when they are older or on their own. Not necessarily the case here or there apparently.

    I can’t even imagine “putting up” 75 pounds of peaches forget about all the other stuff. Kudos to you!

    Interesting recipe you have here. I don’t think I’ve ever seen crab cakes made with cream cheese. They must be delicious! Almost like a crab cake cheesecake. Is it really important to put them in the muffin tins I wonder? It would probably be a whole lot easier just to bake them on a cookie sheet. I’ll be saving this recipe for sure!

    Thanks for sharing, Inger. Hope you get time to relax soon:)

    1. Inger Post author

      I totally agree about older kids requiring far more attention than you anticipate! I think things will start to settle down a little over the next week or so (knocking wood this time)!

      What a great idea about trying the recipe outside of the mini-muffin tin. I don’t know if they’d spread out too much or not but you never know unless you try! I also thought about trying cupcake liners (I have the mini size) and see if that made them look too cup-cakey. Sounds like I need another party!

      1. Louise

        Another party sounds good to me Inger. Let us know when we’re invited!!! I was also wondering whether these would be “freezeable” too.

    1. Inger Post author

      I took me a while to make them but I was definitely not going to forget about them! Now if I could just figure out an easy way to deal with the sticking–aww, darn, more testing 😉

      Thanks for sharing them with all of us!

    1. Inger Post author

      I am a big crab cake (or any crab) lover too Gloria, but they are always so expensive to eat out. But there are always alternatives 🙂

  2. Christie

    These look super delicious! Then again, I’m partial to any kind of crab cake recipes. Your recipe reminds me of that time Mom made Denver omelet muffins… I’m sure you can imagine.

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