Brown Sugar Ham Glaze

10 servings
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

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!


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


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

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!
Yield 10 servings
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


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


  • Bring the ingredients to a boil together on medium heat and cook for 3-4 minutes to thicken before pouring onto ham and baking.
  • If it cools too much it can harden, just reheat to loosen.


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


Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 62mg | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 6.3mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.3mg

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. Made this recipe for Easter and it turned out amazing. Who knew it could be so simple! I was able to use the oranges off my tree and that made it even more special. Everyone loved it.

  2. Everyone loved it. Did not have ground cloves so used same amount of whole cloves. Had to cook glaze 5-6 min before it slightly thickened, but just used as it was. No issues. I only left ham uncovered about 10 min with glaze on though. Test of time tightly wrapped in foil. Thanks for a great glaze. I will use this one again!

    1. The glaze is for 10 servings, That means for a 10-person dinner, you’ll need a bone-in ham that weighs between 7.5-10 pounds or a 5-pound boneless ham.


  4. Thank you SO much for this fabulous glaze recipe! I made this today to bring ham for a Labor Day party that did not have a glaze packet. Of all the recipes I found this sounded the best and all the comments/tips helped my decision. I used all the ingredients except cloves and it was perfect and so easy. Just right – not too sweet. Will use this from now on! For precooked hams I cut, trim and layer pieces/slices in 13×9 pan.
    Then pour glaze over and heat until warm, basting as needed. Doubled the glaze recipe and everyone loved it! Thanks Again!

  5. Very similar to my glaze last year but I have butter in mine, no cinnamon & it was a larger portion so I reduced it a bit longer. Now I have to remember the recipe because I read several & then winged it (no measuring) duplicated it once for the end of the ham. Its been a little under 5 mo. Wish me luck!
    Happy Easter & thanks for the recipe & tips.

  6. This is absolutely so tasty. I made it tonight for the first time and it was so easy. Thank you for this very nice recipe along with your tips and notations of variations.

  7. I added a 1/2 cup of Makers Mark and an extra 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Also let it simmer for 30 minutes to cook down a little. Delicious!!!

  8. I normally use the package that comes with the ham because so many glaze recipes are
    Complicated. This was simple and delicious!!!

  9. Fantastic ham! The glaze remaining in the pan after baking the ham also tastes amazing. Is there anything that I can use the cooked glaze leftovers for in a new recipe? Or can you keep and re-use them for another ham?

  10. Very excellent! Naked it with red potatoes and sweet potatoes. The glaze was a winner! Definitely saving and using again.

  11. Best ham I have ever made. Made with pineapple juice and added chunks at the end to heat up. Thank you for what you do!

  12. I’ve never used glazed but I’d like to try it this yr. I have a fully cooked shank portion half ham. Can this glazed be used for this since it’s just being heated through? Would the glaze go on in the beginning? The heating instructions say to lightly cover with foil also.

  13. This glaze was A-MAZING! Nothing overpowered anything else and it wasn’t super sticky.. cooked it until it was all incorporated and added it to my instapot ham. I did need to thicken it up afterwards and pour it over the ham but it was awesome. Thank you

  14. I made this… and my husband gave me a high five after dinner and cried when the leftovers were gone (they lasted 3 days). Then he begged me to make another one and said… “’cause that was…” and high-fived me again. I guess this one is a keeper!

    Only changes I made was I doubled the recipe because the ham I was baking was big. And I didn’t heat the sauce before applying. I used half the amount in lemon juice instead of OJ because that’s what I had on-hand. And I used dark brown sugar. I slathered the ham with yellow mustard, then half the sugar/spice mix, then halfway thru the bake time I applied the other half of the sugar/spice mix. And basted the ham once about 30 minutes before I took it out and again when I took it out. Then I covered it and let it rest. It was fantastic!

  15. This glaze is the best! I’ve used it@ least 8 times (maybe more). There is one PROBLEM. ! I can’t resist this glaze and love eating it after it cools down. Wonderful addition to my holiday ham. Thank You.

  16. I’m making your Brown Sugar Honey Ham Glaze and am questioning if the 1/2 tsp. of cloves you call for in the recipe are ground cloves or whole cloves? Thank you!

      1. Thank you I wasn’t sure about the cloves either am making your glaze today for our second Thanksgiving feast / and my sons birthday today!!

  17. I don’t have any cloves, making for dinner — is there something I can substitute in a pinch? Will get some for next time! Sounds like a winner recipe — thanks!

  18. Hi, I was wondering if I have to use orange juice. If the orange juice is for the acidic can I use lemon juice and if yes about approximately how much?? Tysvm.

  19. I used this recipe for our Easter ham this past year was my first time cooking ham for a family gathering other family members usually do it but I must say for the first time preparing a ham for a huge family I gotten so many compliments on the ham and by the days end no leftovers was there to be put away lol I will continue to use this on all my hams I’m sure I will be making more holidays hams from here on out

  20. All your recipes are absolutely wonderful. No surprises. Regular ordinary food cooked to its finest. I just love them. You are a great cook!

  21. Maybe someday I’ll try this on a ham. But what I’d like to know right now is, can I used it as a baked chicken glaze as well?