Brown Sugar Ham Glaze

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Brown Sugar Ham Glaze made from brown sugar, orange juice, honey, and spices is the PERFECT addition to a holiday ham and only takes 5 minutes to make!

We love making a traditional ham recipes for Christmas or Easter dinner, and this year we’re serving it with Creamy Bacon Pea Salad, Classic Steakhouse Creamed Spinach, and finishing off with Ultimate Apple Crisp!

Easy Ham Glaze

Ham Glaze is sweet and spiced, and absolutely necessary if you want your ham to have the perfect balance of sweet, savory, and shiny. In my house, glazed ham is almost a given when the holidays roll around, and brown sugar glaze has been my go-to add-on for years already.

I usually bake a spiral ham with whole cloves, but this glaze will really work with any baked ham you buy. This recipe is perfect for a baked ham that’s about 5-8 pounds, if your ham is bigger consider doubling the recipe.

While the ham is roasting in the oven, be prepared for the house to smell like absolute heaven. Baked ham also makes great leftover ham recipes the next day like sandwiches, ham and eggs, or if you have a bone-in one you can make soup. It’s one of those super versatile dinners that you really get your money out of.

In fact if you’re looking for a leftover ham recipe you HAVE to make these leftover ham soup recipes, the Slow Cooker Ham and Potato Soup is one of the most popular recipes on the site and the Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup uses the bone too!

Easy Brown Sugar Ham Glaze


Most ham recipes should be glazed towards the end of cooking, so the sugar doesn’t have a chance to caramelize too much. When there’s about 20-30 minutes of total time left to your baked ham, pour the brown sugar glaze over the top and put back in the oven to bake uncovered. When it’s done, you can pull it out of the oven and baste it with the pan juices. Add any additional glaze as needed during or after the roasting.


You don’t want to glaze a baked ham the day before because the glaze should really be added towards the end of the cook time, otherwise you run the risk of burning the sugar in the glaze. You can glaze a pre-cooked ham the day before if it’s small and won’t take more than 30 minutes in the oven, because you’re really just reheating it.

Most pre-cooked hams will take about 10 minutes per pound to bake. But honestly this brown sugar glaze is so easy and quick to make that it would be easier to throw it together the day of anyway.


Pineapple Brown Sugar Glaze and Maple Brown Sugar Glazed Ham are two of the more popular ham recipes, aside from regular brown sugar glazed ham. They’re so popular I made a slow cooker version of the Brown Sugar Pineapple Ham in case you’re feeling in a tropical mood!

Make a glazed maple ham by subbing the honey in this brown sugar glaze with maple syrup. For a pineapple glaze, add pineapple juice instead of orange juice, and decorate the baked ham with sliced pineapple rings.

Another popular option that uses brown sugar and honey is my really popular HoneyBaked Ham (Copycat) which tastes JUST like the original with no blowtorch needed!

Ultimate Brown Sugar Ham Glaze

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Using this same recipe, whisk in an additional 3 tablespoons of dijon mustard, yellow mustard, or whole-grain in. The recipe already contains honey, and the brown sugar will add a really nice sweet and savory flavor to the sugar glaze.


Make a glazed ham steak by brushing each side of the steak with a tablespoon or two of your favorite glaze. Then cook the glazed steak according to the recipe, adding any additional glaze as necessary.

You can also preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake the glazed steak in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until warmed through.


  • If you use dark brown sugar for this brown sugar ham glaze, you will get a deeper molasses flavor. If you want a sweeter glaze, use light brown sugar.
  • You can make a quick glaze out of preserves like apricot or blueberry!
  • Replace the orange juice with apple cider for a different holiday flavor.
  • Serve your baked ham with additional mustard on the side for dipping. If you made a sweet glaze with brown sugar, the tangy flavor of the mustard will perfectly compliment it. I use dijon mustard, honey mustard, or yellow mustard.
  • Traditionally this glaze uses cinnamon, but you can also add nutmeg, ground cloves, or allspice to the sauce.

Quick Brown Sugar Ham Glaze

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Brown Sugar Ham Glaze

4.96 from 23 votes
  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Course: Sauce
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Brown Sugar Ham Glaze made from brown sugar, orange juice, honey, and spices is the PERFECT addition to a holiday ham and only takes 5 minutes to make!


  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Bring the ingredients to a boil together on medium heat and cook for 3-4 minutes to thicken before pouring onto ham and baking.

  2. If it cools too much it can harden, just reheat to loosen.

Recipe Notes

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 10 servings, Amount per serving: 141 calories, Calories: 141g, Carbohydrates: 37g, Sodium: 7mg, Potassium: 62mg, Sugar: 36g, Vitamin A: 25g, Vitamin C: 6.3g, Calcium: 23g, Iron: 0.3g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Brown Sugar Ham Glaze

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  1. This is the best recipe that I have found for a glaze. I made one adjustment to my preference, but the ham was delicious. No complaints. Thank you for this recipe

  2. I was tasked with cooking my first ham ever, this Thanksgiving. I must admit that I had no clue where to begin. This glaze was easy, delicious, and received rave reviews from my family. As others have mentioned in the reviews, I opted to use whole cloves in the ham versus ground cloves. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! Happy Holidays!

    1. The glaze was delicious. It was my first time making a glaze. My mother used to add cloves and pineapple and on the ham and it was delicious but this glaze just set off my taste buds and my children wanted more! Thanks a million I will keep this recipe for my children.

  3. Hi! I know this is a stupid question. But everything Ive read says cut side down. I have a pre-cooked 8 pound spiral Ham. I cut it first then put it on the roasting rack correct? But I’m confused on the cut side down. Won’t the juices run out?

    1. Yes, you’ll want to put it int he pan cut side down. The actually helps keep the meat juicy. Also, make sure to tent with tinfoil, that’ll help keep it juicy as well. Hope this helps.

  4. Love this glaze, so good! When it started to boil it was like making candy, I thought it would over flow the pan! Is this normal? And it was a bit runny! There were no complaints, a big hit with all my guys!!

  5. I made my very first Ham ever, and this glaze Was a show stopper, it made my ham perfect.
    *Picky eaters approved ??

      1. Yes, this would be a great addition to it, there isn’t a lot of liquid the ham releases so it wouldn’t get watered down too much.
        Just add a bit of water to the bottom, about 1 cup. Pour the glaze over it. Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. This glaze was soooo goood I wanted to drink the glaze in the pan. It was perfect for my Easter 2020 smoked ham!!!

  7. Very Good, very sweet. I think next time I will try to add a little dijon mustard to it. I like how the article has variations you can do.

  8. This was so good. I put whole cloves in the ham and then used your recipe for the glaze. I received a lot of complements on the ham. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  9. Both my 15 and 12 year-old kids remarked that this glaze was stupendous! I didn’t have cloves though so used Allspice but it turned out deliciously.

      1. I think that would be more of a dry rub but personally I haven’t tried it. If you do, I’d love to hear how it comes out.

  10. This was the easiest, yet tastiest glaze I’ve ever made! I followed the recipe exactly, but used pineapple juice instead of orange juice. Not overly sweet, but just the perfect amount. I will always use this glaze going forward. Thanks for sharing!

      1. Do I put glaze on ham once is completely done or do I put it on ham that’s close to being done return to oven and let remaining time finish cooking with ham glaze on it. If so how long should I it cook with glaze on it should I glaze it 10 minutes before it’s done 15 minutes before it’s done maybe 30 minutes. ?