cooking with kids: crab cakes

by Stacy

One highlight of our trip to Minnesota for Thanksgiving was getting to spend time with our Adorable Baby Niece. She just turned 3 years old a few weeks ago and we hadn’t seen her in over a year. “Adorable Toddler Niece” doesn’t have the same ring to it, though, so I’m sticking with the original.

We made plans in advance to take her to a local bookstore for kids, then went back to my parents’ house to have brunch.

Some of you may remember Adorable Baby Niece from when I made her felt baby name book.

wren reading her name book

Amazing what a difference two years makes.


This time she decided to help me make crab cakes for crab cake Benedict. She helped me add ingredients to the bowl, cracked the egg, and stirred with great enthusiasm. Crab may not be the ideal ingredient for a 3-year-old; I knew there was potential for messiness, but I was trying to corral about $25 of crab in the bowl while she cackled and tried to fling it out. A tactical error I tried to remedy with varying degrees of success.


me and my sous chef

I made baking powder biscuits because Mom was out of English muffins. The crab cakes turned into a group project, my husband and my mother shaping, coating, and pan-frying them while I made the Hollandaise sauce.

shaping a crab cake

hollandaise sauce

Eggs Benedict is my family’s traditional holiday weekend brunch. Easter, Mother’s Day, Christmas Day (with Christmas porridge, too), and any other occasion we’re all together before lunch. My dad is usually in charge of the eggs Benedict with my mom helping him plate and deliver. He wasn’t up to it, so my husband and I took over this time.

crab cake benedict

Everyone had seconds, so I think we did fine. Well, everyone except my young sous chef. She decided to maul a biscuit and eat some scrambled egg whites left over from making the Hollandaise sauce. Oh well, more for us!

Special thanks to my sister who kindly took care of my camera while I cooked with her kid.

older sisters are punks

This, of course, was her favorite shot.

Do you cook with kids (your own or loaners)? What has your experience been?

Crab Cakes

Makes 8 small cakes, or 4-6 larger ones

Ours were stirred a bit more vigorously than was needed. Folding the crab in gently at the end will yield larger pieces.


  • 1 pound crab meat (we used 2 cans that added up to less and did just fine)
  • 2/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup panko or cracker crumbs
  • oil for frying


  1. Combine bread crumbs, onion, salt, pepper, lemon zest, mayo, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and egg in a mixing bowl. Fold in crab meat until evenly distributed.
  2. Use a measuring cup to form equal-sized patties (1/4 cup each yielded about 9) and dip them in panko or cracker crumbs.
  3. To deep-fry, heat oil to 375F and fry crab cakes until golden brown, drain on paper towels before serving. To pan fry, coat the bottom of a pan with oil and place over medium heat. Cook crab cakes about 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned.

crab cakes

little blue henKeep up with Little Blue Hen: get updates via email, subscribe through an RSS feed, connect on Facebook, or say hello on Twitter.
Comments? I love feedback and suggestions! Leave them below or email me.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Bridget December 6, 2010 at 9:54 am

I love that you chose to make crab cakes with a 3-year old instead of, I don’t know, cookies or something. Admittedly having never met you, something about that seems so…Stacy, and I love it. :) Plus, you know, it’s crab cakes, so what’s not to like?


birch December 6, 2010 at 3:42 pm

She helped make pancakes, and popovers, and I don’t even know what else before I got there.


Stacy December 6, 2010 at 6:31 pm

She was much more helpful than you! :-p


Stacy December 6, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Everyone needs an eccentric aunt, right? Her other aunt hunts and quilts, so I think we have a pretty good number of bases covered.


Kate December 6, 2010 at 4:56 pm

You KNOW I love this post!…Crabcakes are a tradition with my parents as well, and here I thought it was a Maryland-er thing!


Stacy December 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm


To clarify, the eggs Benedict part is traditional. Mom’s grocery store was out of Canadian bacon (I just eat mine without) so we proposed crab cakes as an alternative. I assume that canned crab is frowned upon on the coasts, though. Now that I’ve made them once I am compelled to make them again!


Mom December 7, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Dad loved them. They may replace our “regular” ones!!! Thanks for the new idea, honey.


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: