If you’ve been searching for the perfect holiday appetizer or first course, stop your search – this recipe for Crab Imperial is elegant yet simple enough to make while balancing a million other things this holiday season. 

This post is sponsored by Hood® .  

Crab Imperial recipe

The holiday season is upon us and whether you’re traveling to visit and spend time with family or are hosting at home, the stress of the season creeps up and today I’m sharing a recipe from the Hood Holiday eCookbook created by Chef Christopher Coombs of Boston. This recipe for Crab Imperial is just the decadent, easy recipe you need if hosting at home. Hood® , being a New England based company, with their holiday eCookbook shares some recipes that are locally focused on ingredients from the area and that’s why I chose to make the Crab Imperial, since living on Martha’s Vineyard seafood is such a mainstay of our diet.

Crab Imperial recipe

Basically, what you’ll be making is a crab cake batter, to then fill in puff pastry squares and bake. Chef Chris Coombs blends some delicious ingredients such as brioche bread with hot sauce, mascarpone cheese, lemon juice, red bell pepper, and herbs, all combined with Hood®  Heavy Cream to bring it all together into a creamy batter.

Crab Imperial recipe

Once mixed with the crab, all it takes is baking up puff pastry cups – which you can either buy pre-made at the store or buy the puff pastry sheets and make them yourself. Either way, you’ll bake them up and out come these tender crab filled cups of delight. Whether you serve them as a passed appetizer at a cocktail party or as a first course along some salad at a dinner party, you won’t go wrong.

Quick holiday party tip: Keep Hood® products stocked in your home because they quickly can elevate any recipe or dish. A splash of Hood Half & Half can turn a good sauce into an amazing sauce, a quick whip of Hood Heavy Cream dolloped on desserts makes dessert lovers rejoice, and always having Hood® Ice Cream in the freezer lets you relax on having to make dessert – just throw some in the blender with heavy cream and it’s milkshakes for dessert! 

Crab Imperial

This luxurious appetizer is as if crab cakes married delicate puff pastry and had a baby - it's that good!
Print Recipe
Crab Imperial recipe
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:10 minutes
Total Time:30 minutes


  • 3 ⁄4 cup brioche bread diced
  • 1 ⁄2 cup Hood® Heavy Cream
  • 1 dash hot sauce
  • 8 oz. crab meat
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tsp. lemon juice
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. Cape Cod seasoning can substitute Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp. red bell pepper diced small
  • 2 Tbsp. parsley chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. chives sliced
  • 12 pre-baked puff pastry cups


  • Preheat oven to 300° F. In a small mixing bowl, combine brioche bread cubes and Hood® Heavy Cream. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes at room temperature. Add hot sauce to the bread mixture and combine thoroughly.
  • Check crab meat carefully for bits of shell or cartilage. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients including the brioche bread mixture.
  • Gently mound crab filling into pre-baked puff pastry cups on a baking sheet. Place the filled cups in the oven for 5-10 minutes; the filling should be warmed through. Serve immediately as hors d’oeuvres or plate several cups with a small salad as a first course.
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Chris Coombs

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