Last Updated on February 15, 2022
The clam cake recipe is one of the common cakes loved for its flavor and light, crisp stuffed clams that are never greasy.
A clam cake is the type of cake most popular in New England. The difference between clam cakes and clam fritters is that clam cakes are made with chopped clams while clam fritters are made of minced clams.
Clam cakes are also fried for longer than clam fritters because clam cakes are made with clam meat while clam fritters are made with minced clams, clam juice, or clam liquor.
There is no difference between clam cakes and clam fritters when it comes to the ingredients, but there is a difference between them when it comes to how they’re prepared.
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A clam cake is a type of deep-fried food that is prepared from chowder clams mixed into a thick batter and then fried. The dish got its name by combining the words “clam” and “cake”.
There are many different types of clam cakes, for example, clam cakes Lincolnshire, lobster clam cakes, scallop cake recipes, etc. However, the most common variety of clam cakes can be found on the coasts of New England.
A clam cake recipe usually includes chopped clams, clam juice or clam liquor, clam fritter batter, and any other ingredients that would make the clam cake taste like clams.
Clam cakes are usually dressed up with crispy bacon bits on top to make them appetizing and appealing to customers, but this is optional.
Clam cakes do not tend to be as messy as they can be made with clam juice or clam liquor for a more flavorful clam cake. There are many clam cake recipes available today and we will share some of these recipes here.
Clam Cake Main Ingredients
- clam juice / clam liquor
- cornstarch to thicken the batter
- clam meat (optional about 8oz of clam meat should work perfectly)
To achieve the best clam taste in clam cakes, we suggest using minced clams and/or clam juice. If these ingredients are not available, your batter might turn out a bit bland. You can also use baby clams which do not have any flavor so they basically only serve as a vessel for the rest of the ingredients to shine through.
Clam Cakes Recipe – Clam Fritter Batter
You will need clam fritter batter to prepare clam cakes. For those who prefer exact measurements, we have provided the following clam cake recipe:
- 1 cup of flour (all-purpose)
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- ½ teaspoon of baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of white pepper, ground
- 1 egg beaten and mixed with 2 tablespoons milk
- 8 ounces clam juice and/or clam liquor
Whisk all ingredients together until you get a smooth mixture without lumps. The consistency should be thick but not runny. If the mixture is too runny, add some more flour and mix it well.
Clam fritter batter tips
- use clam juice or clam liquor to thin the mixture if needed
- use clam juice or clam liquor for a nice clam taste in clam cakes
- you can also add clam meat into the batter to make clam fishcakes
Serving and storing clam cakes
To enjoy your clam cakes better, serve them immediately after frying them. If you want to save them for later, we recommend freezing them instead of using a refrigerator. You can freeze these fried treats by placing them on wax paper and putting it in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Clam cakes are usually wrapped in wax paper so they don’t get soggy.
Clam cake recipe facts
– Clam cakes usually have a clam taste so they will be perfect for clam connoisseurs or people who love seafood dishes
– These cakes are easy to make and using pre-prepared clam juice helps you save time
– Clam cakes can be served with tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, ketchup, etc.
– They are made of fried dough that is filled with minced clams which makes them more interesting than normal old potato fritters.
How many calories are in a clam cake? – A clam cake has around 251 calories in it and does not contain any which makes it a healthy food
Clam Fritter Recipe
A clam fritter recipe will focus more on the consistency of the clam fritter after frying it.
A clam fritter is a very common item in New England and may contain chopped clams and chowder clam juice or clam liquor for added flavor. Mainers love their clam fritters, along with all other variations of clam cakes such as lobster clam cakes and scallop cakes.
- Minced clams or chopped clams
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Flour (or cornmeal/cornflour)
- Cooking oil(for deep frying)
- Mix clam meat, 1 egg, and enough milk to moisten. Add salt and pepper as needed.
- Gradually mix in flour (or cornmeal/cornflour) until the clam cake mixture is thick but not too dry. If it’s too dry, add more clam juice or clam liquor and mix it well.
- Form into 1-inch balls and flatten them by hand into patties that are 1/8 inch thick or less.
- Fry over medium heat in a pan with butter/margarine and cooking oil(for deep frying).
- Flip when browned on one side and fry the other side until browned as well. This should take around 5 minutes for each clam fritter depending on your stove temperature (you can test if clam fritters are done by cutting one open and checking the inside).
Clam fritter recipe tips
– Clam juice or clam liquor is really important to make clam cakes taste like they were made on the beach. Foods with clam juice have a more briny flavor than those without it. If possible, use clam juice which you can buy at any market near seafood products. If not, ¼ teaspoon of salt is enough to give your clam cake batter that famous New England clam taste
– The consistency should be thick but not too runny so you may need to add some flour if your mixture is too watery
– Clams are usually small so you don’t need to chop them into very small pieces.
– Clam fritters are usually made with canned minced clams so you may need to drain the liquid in them before adding it into your mixture or clam fritters will be too watery
– Deep-frying is usually done in most clam cake recipes but you can also pan fry clam cakes if you’re out of oil/butter for deep frying or simply don’t want to use that much oil for clam cakes. You can also bake clam cakes if you like.
A clam cake recipe, clam fritter recipe, and clam fritter batter can be made from minced clams.
Clam fritters are usually flatter than clam cakes because they have more ingredients added to them, such as flour or cornmeal/cornflour which makes them thicker and lumpier than clam cakes.
You can store a clam cake mixture in your freezer for up to 3 months if you don’t plan on using it soon.
Clam cakes taste better when they’re fresh but if you want to save time, you can make large batches of clam fritter batter and keep it stored in your freezer for around 3 months.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Who invented clam cake?
No one knows who invented this delicious fried treat, however, they've been around since the beginning of fishing in New England. The first clam cakes were probably accidental when someone was preparing chowder and formed some leftover clam meat into a patty.
Can clam cake batter be frozen?
Yes, clam cake mixture can be stored in your freezer for around 3 months if you don't want to make it again right away. You can also store ready clam cakes for as long as 3 months but ensure you wrap them very well so they won't get soggy when you defrost them after 3 months.
How many calories are in a clam cake?
A clam cake has around 251 calories in it and does not contain any which makes it a healthy food choice.
What is the difference between a clam cake and a clam flitter?
A clam fritter is a clam cake with more ingredients added to it which makes it fatter and bigger than normal clam cakes.
Who makes the best clam cakes?
There is no best clam cake because clam cakes taste different depending on the chef. The clam cakes you've tried in one place may taste better than clam cakes you've tried elsewhere so clam cakes are more of a matter of preference.
Clam Cake Recipe
- 1 cup flour (all-purpose)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper, ground
- 1 egg, beaten and mixed with 2 tablespoons milk
- 8 oz clam juice and/or clam liquor
- Whisk all ingredients together until you get a smooth mixture without lumps. The consistency should be thick but not runny. If the mixture is too runny, add some more flour and mix it well.