Crispy Clam Cakes Recipe: New England Clam Cakes Are the Perfect Bite Seafood Side Dishes Appetizers

Shauna Flury
a year ago

Need something to dunk or float in your chowder? Look no further than these clam cakes! If you are a fan of hushpuppies, you'll love this deep-fried clam cakes recipe.

Clam cakes are popular in New England, especially Rhode Island. Clam cakes are deep fried and made with clams (sometimes chopped and sometimes left whole, depending on size), flour, milk, beer or clam juice, eggs and baking powder, plus other various ingredients. Deep frying results in a crispy outside and a soft, moist inside.

Clam cakes are perfect for dipping in chowders like New England clam chowder. You could also serve these crispy clam cakes as an appetizer with lemon wedges on the side and tartar sauce, remoulade sauce, ranch or Cajun sauce for dipping. If you don't like cooing with beer, substitute bottled clam juice.

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 10


  • 2 pounds clams
  • 1 bottle beer 
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted, salted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Here's how to make it:

  1. Bring beer to a boil. Add clams and cook until shells open, about 4 to 8 minutes (discard any that haven't opened). 
  2. In a large pot, add oil to a depth of 3 inches. Bring oil to 375 degrees F. 
  3. Combine the clams and their juices, milk, egg and butter together. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and pepper. Add the clam mixture to the dry ingredients along with the lemon juice. Stir to just combine (do not over mix!). 
  4. Drop batter into the oil by heaping tablespoons full. Work in batches so you don't crowd the pan, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain the temperature. 
  5. Fry until clam cakes are nicely browned and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to cool. Repeat with remaining batter. 

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Comments (2)

Elisa Schmitz
Oh my, Shauna Flury , these sound delicious! Thanks for sharing!
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