Rhode Island Style Clam Cakes

    My favorite beach food, these clam cakes are crispy on the outside, and tender and bready on the inside.


    • 1/2 Cup Milk
    • 1/2 Cup Canned Clam Sauce*
    • 1/2 Cup Beer
    • 2 Teaspoons Agave Nectar
    • 1 Pound Fresh Clams (about 1/3 or 1/2 cup chopped)
    • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
    • 3.5 Cups Flour
    • Salt


    1. In a chilled bowl, mix the milk, clam sauce, beer, agave, and chopped fresh clams, keeping everything nice and cold. Mix in the dry ingredients. Use an ice cream scoop, or just a spoon, to scoop approx 2.5 tablespoon sized globs of dough into the hot oil. Fry at 350 for about 4-5 minutes.
    2. I don't remember a dipping sauce, and I personally don't think it needs one, but I mixed some mayo, sriracha, and pickle juice together and it worked great for my friends.
    3. *I needed to add liquid to the batter and didn't want to use water. Many recipes I saw used either a clam or seafood broth, but at the last minute I decided to try a canned clam sauce I found in the stock and broth section at my grocery store.  It was a sort of upscale brand with a clean ingredients label and it ended up working great.


    I never liked seafood growing up, but the one “seafood” I ate every year was the Rhode Island style Clam Cakes in the Rhode Island state building at the Big E. I say “seafood” in quotes, because they are basically savory donuts with a hint of clam flavor. But they’re so good! For my version, I kept them pretty close to the way I remembered, but slightly bumped up the actual fresh clam content and flavor. Only slightly!

    Working with raw fresh clams can be a little intimidating. My friends were a little grossed out.  Here they are all chopped up.

    All the ingredients mixed together. It’s a wet batter.

    Dropping it into the fryer.

    These were sooooo good! I haven’t had the ones from the fair in at least 2 or 3 years, so I was really happy to eat these guys. The every so slightly amplified clam levels didn’t overpower at all.

    Perfectly crisp on the outside and airy on the inside.