Patti LaBelle

Patti LaBelle

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Make You Wanna Holler Maryland Crab Cakes with Lemon Aioli

Crab Cakes

We’re in Patti LaBelle’s home kitchen, cooking up her famous crab cakes, from her book LaBelle Cuisine: Recipe to Sing About. Grab your ingredients and cook along with this music icon.

If you’re cooking along with us at home, find the ingredient and preparation list below or listen and enjoy for your next meal inspiration. 

COOK’S NOTE: Use fresh bread crumbs, made in a blender or food processor from crustless firm white sandwich bread, not dried crumbs from a box. Crab cakes are supposed to taste like crab, not bread, so use the absolute minimum amount – just enough to keep the cakes from falling apart. For this class we’ll be refrigerating the formed crab cakes for about 15 minutes.

Makes 4 servings


For the Crab Cakes:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over to remove cartilage
  • 1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs (see Cook’s Notes above)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
  • Seasoned salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Lemon wedges

For the Lemon Aioli:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Fine sea salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Habanero pepper or hot pepper of your choice, optional
  • Medium skillet
  • Medium Bowl
  • Wax paper-lined baking sheet
  • Plastic wrap
  • Broiler pan, lightly greased
  • Small Bowl


For the Crab Cakes:

In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.

Add the crabmeat and sprinkle on the bread crumbs. Pour the egg and the pepper sauce on top. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Using your hands, gently mix, being careful not to break up the crabmeat any more than necessary.

Form the mixture into 6 patties, about 3 inches in diameter. Place on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour (this helps the crab cakes hold together).

Position the rack about 6 inches from the source of the heat and preheat the broiler. Lightly grease the broiler pan. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter. Place the crab cakes in the broiler pan and brush the tops with the melted butter.

Broil the crab cakes until the tops are golden brown, about 4 minutes. Turn and continue broiling until the other side is golden brown, about 4 more minutes. Serve hot, with the lemon wedges.

For the Lemon Aioli:

To make the aioli, in a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Add thinly sliced pieces of Habanero pepper or your desired pepper or seasoning of choice. Set aside 1/4 cup of the aioli. Cover and refrigerate the remaining aioli for later use.

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