Crab Cakes Hollandaise

I love brunch and happen to be a hollandaise fanatic and being a Marylander has given me an intense love for all things crab. One day it hit me, what would happen if I drizzled hollandaise over crab cakes?

crab cakes smothered in hollandaise sauce


Crab Cakes Hollandaise is a decadently delicious dish that is perfect as an entree or as an appetizer. It is certain to wow your guests. 

The answer to that question is an all-out, flipping amazing party for your tastebuds. Seriously, it is absolute heaven. The sweetness of the crab and the crisp exterior or the cake itself pairs perfectly with this rich and citrusy sauce. 

Crab Cakes

For those of you who have not made crab cakes before, welcome to a new and wonderful club. As a Marylander, I will give you a few general rules we abide by here: 

  1. There are no veggies allowed. Not even the red pepper people try to sneak in. If you want veggies, make a side dish or a salad
  2. Fillers are a no go. You will, of course, need something to bind the crab meat together to form the cake, but some people go overboard. There is no need to have anything more than what is absolutely necessary. 
  3. A little seasoning is fine. A lot of seasoning is blasphemy. You are here to enjoy the flavor of the crab meat, not the seasoning. 
jumbo lump crab cakes on English muffins

Crab Meat

Generally speaking, you will have a few choices when it comes to meat. If you are unfamiliar with crab meat, here is a basic outline of the different types you might see: 

  • Claw – dark meat that comes from the claw, a little more stringy than other varieties.
  • Special smaller pieces, comes from small little crevices or the “special” sections of the crab, good for flavoring and dips.
  • Backfin – some larger lumps coming from, you guessed it, the back of the shell, whiter meat does well in crab cakes, feathery texture.
  • Jumbo lump – large, lumps of meat, the beauty is the large pieces used for crab meat cocktails or delicious to pop in your mouth plain, very tasty and moist.
hollandaise crab cakes

Most people will agree that jumbo lump, while more expensive, is the best way to go when it comes to crab cakes and with the hollandaise sauce, it is really over the top.

That said, it is expensive and if it is putting too much strain on your wallet, go with a blend that includes it.

Hollandaise Sauce

We’ve talked crab cakes, let’s talk sauce. So what is hollandaise anyway?

This thick and rich sauce originated in France. At its core, it is a simple, emulsified mixture of two ingredients: butter and raw egg yolks. 

glass jar of hollandaise

It can be seasoned and doctored up all sorts of ways based on preference. Popular additions include salt and pepper, cayenne, hot sauce, lemon juice, dijon mustard, and more. It is delicious on eggs benedict of course, but also things like asparagus, steak, and delicate poached fish. 

Why does hollandaise have a bit of a reputation? While this sauce seems luxurious and hearty, it is actually a challenge to make because of the delicate balance of emulsion and temperatures.

If you don’t get it right, the sauce can separate and getting it to come back together from the brink is no easy feat. Should the heat be too hot, you can start cooking your eggs and get a lumpy sauce. Too cold, and the emulsion won’t hold. 

hollandaise sauce pouring over crab cakes

The old school way of making it is by whisking it quickly in a bowl set over a pot of boiling water or a double boiler. I skip that step and move to a foolproof way of getting these ingredients to come together – the blender

The motor ensures “whisking” is even and vigorous enough to bring everything together. Once together, be sure to keep your sauce warm. If it is too hot, it will break. If it is too cold, it will also break. 

Can I freeze hollandaise sauce? I don’t suggest freezing hollandaise sauce since it does use raw eggs and is an emulsion. It will separate and be yucky when thawed with a much higher chance of potential foodborne illness.

fork cutting into crab cakes hollandaise

Crab Cakes Benedict

You can easily transform this recipe into a crab cakes benedict by adding a toasted English muffin or buttery biscuit and a poached egg.

Essentially the crab takes the place of ham. You can add ham too if you want to be “extra” as the kids say…

The layering goes like this: English muffin, crab cake, poached egg and hollandaise sauce. I also like to top it with chopped chives or parsley.

close up of crab cakes hollandaise for pinterest

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Chicken Fried Bacon

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crab cakes hollandaise for pinterest
hollandaise crab cakes

Crab Cakes Hollandaise

4.80 from 10 votes
Crab Cakes Hollandaise is a decadently delicious dish that is perfect as an entree or as an appetizer. It is certain to wow your guests. 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


Crab Cakes:

Hollandaise Sauce:


Crab Cakes:

  • Dab crab meat with paper towels to get out excess moisture. Try not to break apart any of the large crab meat lumps.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, Old Bay and lemon juice.
  • Add crab meat, panko and lightly beaten egg. Toss lightly using your fingers until just moist, again, trying to not break apart any crab meat lumps. If it isn’t sticking, add more panko slowly until it binds. Carefully form 8 jumbo crab cakes or 16 crab balls.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease. Place crab cakes on baking sheet.
  • Preheat broiler to high heat. Place 4-5 inches from heating element. Broil until lightly brown on top, approximately 7-8 minutes.
  • Remove, transfer to toasted English Muffins using a spatula and top with hollandaise sauce.

Hollandaise Sauce:

  • Combine egg yolks, Dijon mustard and lemon juice in a blender. Cover, and blend on high for 1-2 minutes. The mixture will blend and start to lighten.
  • Reduce blender speed and take out the middle stopped in the center of the lid. Slowly pour in butter in a steady stream while the blender is running. You might get a few spits and splatters.
  • Continue to mix until sauce has thickened, which will happen within 1 minute.
  • Add salt and optional hot sauce or white pepper, pulse to blend.
  • Sauce will be semi-warm from agitation in the blender, but you can heat further by setting the whole blender in large bowl of hot water or place sauce in a double boiler saucepan on low heat, stirring constantly.
  • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!


To make into a Crab Cakes benedict top with a poached egg and chives. 
You can also add a flavored cream cheese to the English muffin for a fun twist! 


Calories: 614 kcal, Carbohydrates: 13 g, Protein: 47 g, Fat: 41 g, Saturated Fat: 18 g, Cholesterol: 357 mg, Sodium: 2157 mg, Potassium: 524 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g, Vitamin A: 1049 IU, Vitamin C: 19 mg, Calcium: 172 mg, Iron: 3 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 614
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: blender hollandaise sauce, maryland crab cakes
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

4.80 from 10 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    My younger daughter loves crab and so I made this for her yesterday. She was super happy and wants me to make it again. The flavors were outstanding.

  2. 5 stars
    This is *everything*. I love anything with crab cakes. This recipe turned out restaurant-level. What a great way to treat yourself or treat company!

  3. 5 stars
    Crab cakes are one of my husband’s most favorite things in the universe. Coupled with hollandaise this sounds beyond delish. I’m going to surprise him with this – he’ll be in heaven!

  4. 5 stars
    Made these for a brunch and they were perfect! The hollandaise just makes it – I found it easy to make and DELICIOUS.