clam cakes recipe
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5 from 8 votes

Rhode Island Clam Cakes

This recipe is best made with freshly ground clams, although it would still be good with finely chopped clams. Canned would be OK, and better to make it with canned than not at all, but please, please, please make this at least once with fresh clams. You will not be sorry. Use cake flour if you can get it; it will make a lighter, fluffier cake. All-purpose is fine if you can't find cake flour. Use a "regular" beer, not a fancy one. Think Budweiser. For the remoulade, I used a recipe I developed with Elise from Simply Recipes. Be sure to keep your oil as close to 350°F as you can. The cakes will come out greasy if your oil gets too cool. Fry in batches to prevent this. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 people
Author: Hank Shaw


  • 1 recipe for remoulade
  • Canola or other vegetable oil for frying
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup clam broth
  • 1/2 cup cold beer
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped or ground clams
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour, or all-purpose flour


  • Make the remoulade first and set aside. Heat the oil to 350°F.
  • Mix all the liquid ingredients together except the beer. Mix all the dry ingredients together. When your oil is hot, add the beer to the liquid ingredients and mix gently. Stir in the dry ingredients just until combined.
  • Drop a tablespoon of batter into the hot oil at a time. Do not crowd the pot. Let them sizzle for 30 seconds or so, then dislodge any that are stuck to the bottom with a chopstick or wooden skewer. Fry until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes.
  • Drain on paper towels and serve while hot with the remoulade, Tabasco or tartar sauce. And beer. Lots of beer.


If you can't eat all the cakes in one sitting, leave the oil in the fryer overnight; it'll be fine. Then reheat and refry the leftover cakes for 2 to 3 minutes, turning once. If you want a more traditional New England Fried Clam recipe, I got one.