Delicious Pretzel-Crusted Crab Cakes Recipe

Get ready for a culinary sensation as I introduce you to my latest recipe – the Pretzel-Crusted Crab Cakes! Be prepared to indulge in the rich flavors and textures that only premium seafood can provide, coupled with a cheese pretzel crust that will make your taste buds dance with excitement.

Inspired by the legendary David Burke’s famous pretzel crusted crab cakes, this recipe has been modified and perfected over time to give you the ultimate dining experience. With every fresh bite of juicy lump crabmeat, infused with Dijon mustard and sweet paprika, the flavor profile will explode in your mouth like a firework display on New Year’s Eve.

But don’t let the fancy name fool you; this recipe is not just reserved for Michelin-star restaurants or celebrity chefs. With easy-to-find ingredients like egg, mayonnaise, and scallions, you too can become a master chef within your own four walls. Whether it’s hosting an elegant dinner party or treating yourself to a cocktail snack, these pretzel-crusted crab cakes are sure to impress anyone with its sophistication and delectable flavors.

So come along as I guide you through this culinary journey – from the ingredient list to serving suggestions – and let us embark on an adventure of taste bud excitement that will leave your guests begging for more!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Pretzel-Crusted Crab Cakes
Pretzel-Crusted Crab Cakes

Are you tired of the same old crab cake recipe? Do you love salty, crunchy pretzels? If so, you’re in for a treat with this Pretzel-Crusted Crab Cakes recipe.

Here’s why you’ll love it:

Firstly, the use of crushed pretzels as a crust creates a deliciously crunchy texture that adds an extra layer of flavor to your standard crab cakes. The pretzels bind with the chunky crab meat, creating a mouthwatering contrast in every bite.

Secondly, this recipe is versatile, allowing you to get creative with the ingredients. Instead of bread crumbs, chef Stephanie Sokolove uses lump crabmeat as the base for her cakes, making them more flavorful and filling. And if you’re not a fan of scallions or sweet paprika, feel free to swap them out for other seasonings or herbs that tickle your fancy.

Thirdly, this recipe is easy to make and great for entertaining guests. Impress your friends and family with these pretzel-crusted crab cakes that are sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any event or get-together.

Lastly, this recipe comes from celebrity chef David Burke’s tavern, where they are famous for their pretzel crusted crab cakes. You know you’re in good hands when bringing Burke’s recipes into your own home kitchen.

So go ahead and give this recipe a try, it might just become your new favorite way to enjoy seafood!

Ingredient List

“Satisfy your seafood cravings with these pretzel-crusted crab cakes.”

Here is a breakdown of the ingredients you will need to create these delectable Pretzel-Crusted Crab Cakes:

For the Crab Cakes:

  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions (green parts only)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

For the Pretzel Crust:

  • 2 cups coarsely crushed pretzels (crush in food processor or place in a plastic bag and crush with rolling pin)
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
  • 3 scallions, minced (green parts only)

These easily accessible ingredients were made famous by Chef David Burke. With this recipe, you can use your pantry and fridge staples to whip up deliciously chunky crab cakes.

The Recipe How-To

“Take your crab cakes to the next level with this crunchy pretzel coating.”

Once you have gathered all the ingredients listed above, let’s get started with making these Pretzel-Crusted Crab Cakes. This recipe is simple and easy to make, yet packs a delicious punch.

1. Mix the Ingredients

Begin by mixing together 2 cups of mayonnaise, 4 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp of old bay seasoning, 3 scallions – green parts only – finely chopped, and 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika in a large mixing bowl until well combined.

Next, add in 1 large egg that has been lightly beaten and mix it well with your other ingredients. Afterwards, fold in the 2 cups of lump crabmeat gently to avoid breaking it up.

2. Prepare the Pretzel Crust

Pour a bag of crushed pretzels into another bowl. Burke’s recipe uses crushed pretzels to bind the crust for chunky crab cakes with a different texture, reminiscent of street pretzels.

3. Shape and Coat

To assemble your cakes, take a large scoop of the crab mixture (about two tablespoons) using an ice cream scoop or cookie cutter and form it into a round patty shape.

Take each patty and dip it into the crushed pretzels until completely coated on both sides.

4. Cook

Heat a large frying pan over low-medium heat and melt one tablespoon of unsalted butter in it. Add your pretzel crusted crab cakes to the pan with at least an inch of space around each one.

Cook for about five minutes on each side or until they are golden brown and crispy all around.

5. Ready to Serve

Your Pretzel-Crusted Crab Cakes are ready to serve! You can serve them hot as part of your main dish, or as delicious bite-sized appetizers – crab cake bites – for any party occasion!


Substitutions and Variations

“Golden brown and delicious, these crab cakes are a game changer.”

While this recipe for Pretzel-Crusted Crab Cakes is already a delicious twist on the classic crab cake, there are a few substitutions and variations that you can explore to make it your own.

One simple substitution is using breadcrumbs instead of crushed pretzels to bind the crust. Chef Stephanie Sokolove, as featured in Food & Wine, uses breadcrumbs instead of pretzels in her crab cake bites. This variation can add a crispy texture to the crust while still keeping the focus on the succulent lump crab meat.

If you want to experiment with different seasonings, you can try adding a pinch of garlic powder or cayenne pepper for an added kick. You could also swap out the sweet paprika for smoked paprika for a smokier flavor that complements the seafood.

For those who prefer not to use mayonnaise, you can substitute it with Greek yogurt or sour cream for a tangy twist. Another option is mixing in avocado instead of mayonnaise – this substitution adds creaminess and richness to the crab cakes without sacrificing any flavor.

If you want to elevate this recipe even further, consider replacing traditional hamburger buns with pretzel buns for serving. The combination of the pretzel bun with the pretzel crust creates a cohesive and satisfying bite.

Overall, these variations and substitutions provide plenty of options for making this Pretzel-Crusted Crab Cake recipe your own. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and techniques to create a dish that best suits your taste buds.

Serving and Pairing

“Texture is key in these pretzel-crusted crab cakes.”

These pretzel crusted crab cakes are an absolute delight! They’re crisp, flavorful and make for a perfect appetizer or main course, depending on the occasion. But what’s the best way to serve them?

For starters, I recommend serving them hot with a side of tartar sauce, cocktail sauce or aioli. The cool, tangy flavors of these sauces perfectly complement the warm and crunchy texture of the crab cakes.

If you’re serving them as an appetizer, consider pairing them with a light and refreshing white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Alternatively, sparkling wine or Champagne would also be great choices.

As a main course, these crab cakes can be paired with grains like quinoa, rice or couscous as well as roasted vegetables like asparagus or Brussels sprouts. If you’re feeling particularly creative, you can even turn them into sliders by placing them on toasted pretzel buns and topping them off with lettuce and tomato.

The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to pairing this delicious dish. So go ahead and experiment with different combinations until you find the perfect match!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Let the pretzel crumbs work their magic on these juicy crab cakes.”

The best part about the Pretzel-Crusted Crab Cakes recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored for later use. This crab cake recipe can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance by assembling the crab cakes and storing them in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

If you have any leftovers or want to store cooked crab cakes for later use, the key is to properly store them to maintain their texture and flavor. Place the crab cakes in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap before placing them in the refrigerator. The crab cakes can be stored for up to four days.

When ready to reheat the crab cakes, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Arrange the cold crab cakes on a baking sheet and cover them with foil. Heat for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, if you’re short on time, you could also briefly sauté them in a pan over medium heat.

One helpful tip for storing and reheating pretzel-crusted crab cakes is to keep them separate from any other items in your fridge so they don’t absorb any unwanted odours or flavours. To maintain optimal texture, consider reheating these hearty and chunky crab cakes in small batches at a time instead of all at once.

Whether you’re looking to make sense of leftover party bites or prepping weeks’ worth of lunch ahead of time, these delicious pretzel crusted crab cakes are perfect as a make-ahead dish, and easy enough to throw together on short notice.

Tips for Perfect Results

“Looks like a regular crab cake but tastes like pure joy with the pretzel coating.”

Now that you have all the ingredients in hand and have followed the recipe instructions, it’s time to pay attention to some tips and tricks that will help you achieve perfect results with this delicious pretzel-crusted crab cake recipe. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Firstly, make sure not to overmix your crab cake mixture when mixing ingredients together. Overworking crab meat can lead to a dense and rubbery texture that is undesirable when biting into a delicate crab cake.

Secondly, use high-quality lump crab meat and avoid shredded or canned meat. Lump crab meat works best for the recipe because it gives the crab cakes a luxurious and juicy taste. If you are on a tight budget, you should consider purchasing Claw meat as an alternative.

Thirdly, forming equal-sized patties will ensure uniform cooking of your pretzel crusted crab cakes. Scoop the mixture with an ice cream scoop for easy portioning then form each patty by gently pressing down with your hands.

Fourthly, place crusted crab cakes in the fridge at least 30 minutes before frying. This will help them hold their shape while cooking and ensure the crust sticks evenly around every part of the patty.

Fifthly, avoid flipping the crab cakes more than once during frying. The best practice is to cook each side until golden brown before flipping- about 3-4 minutes depending on heat setting.

Finally, don’t skimp out on preparing your pretzel crust. Crushed pretzels work well in binding the crust around the chunky crab meat (instead of using bread crumbs). Take time to press firmly ensuring that each corner of your lump crab patty is coated thoroughly with the oniony pretzel coating for maximum flavor.

With these tips, you are guaranteed perfectly cooked pretzel-crusted crab cakes with a crispy exterior and moist delicious filling at its core.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Pretzel-Crusted Crab Cakes Recipe is a must-try for seafood lovers who are looking for a new twist on the traditional crab cake recipe. With its unique pretzel crust and flavorful combination of ingredients, these cakes are sure to impress your guests and leave them wanting more.

What makes this recipe even better is the ease with which it can be prepared. The step-by-step instructions make the process straightforward, allowing you to enjoy a gourmet meal in the comfort of your own home.

Not only is this recipe delicious, but it’s also versatile. You can substitute or add different ingredients to create variations that cater to your taste preferences. Plus, they can be served as a snack or appetizer, or as a main course paired with a salad or side dish.

To ensure the best results when making this recipe, follow the tips provided and take advantage of make-ahead options. This will help save time and make your experience stress-free.

Overall, whether you’re an experienced cook or just starting out in the kitchen, these Pretzel-Crusted Crab Cakes are an excellent choice. David Burke’s famous pretzel crust truly takes this recipe to the next level, and I highly recommend trying it out for yourself. So get ready to impress your taste buds and dive into a heavenly dish of chunky crab meat encased in a crispy pretzel crust!

Pretzel-Crusted Crab Cakes

Pretzel-Crusted Crab Cakes Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Calories 506.4 kcal


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 3 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb lump crabmeat, picked over for shell
  • 3/4 cup finely ground hard pretzel (from 1/2 pound pretzels)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  • 1. In a bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the egg, mustard, Old Bay, paprika and scallions. Fold in the crabmeat and 1/2 cup of the pretzels. Refrigerate the crab mixture for 1 hour, until the pretzels are moist.
  • 2. Preheat the oven to 400°. Form the crab mixture into eight 2 1/2-inch patties. Coat the crab cakes with the remaining 1/4 cup of ground pretzels. In an ovenproof nonstick skillet, melt the butter in the oil. Add the crab cakes and cook over moderately high heat until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the crab cakes and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake the crab cakes for about 5 minutes, until they are browned all over, then serve.
  • Make Ahead The crabmeat mixture can be refrigerated overnight. Serve With Mayonnaise whisked with roasted garlic and mustard.
  • Suggested Pairing
  • A crisp, apple-and-pear-scented Pinot Blanc.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 194gCalories: 506.4kcalCarbohydrates: 43.3gProtein: 32gFat: 22.9gSaturated Fat: 6.3gCholesterol: 155.5mgSodium: 1278.1mgFiber: 1.7gSugar: 3.4g
Keyword < 60 Mins
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Chef Chloe


Chloe is passionate about creating unique dishes that draw on the flavors of her favorite cultures. She loves experimenting with new ingredients and pushing the boundaries of traditional recipes. Her enthusiasm for cooking is infectious, and she is always eager to share her creations with friends and family.