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!
BROWN SUGAR 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!
WHEN SHOULD I ADD THE HAM GLAZE TO THE HAM?
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.
CAN YOU GLAZE HAM THE DAY BEFORE?
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.
HOW DO YOU MAKE A PINEAPPLE GLAZE OR MAPLE GLAZE FOR HAM?
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!
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HOW DO YOU GLAZED HAM WITH HONEY AND MUSTARD?
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.
HOW DO YOU MAKE GLAZED HAM STEAK?
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.
TIPS FOR MAKING HAM GLAZE
- 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.
- 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.
If I have whole cloves, can I grind them up to use if I don’t have ground cloves?
Sure, just make sure the grind is very fine.
My family loved this glaze! I will make it again and again!
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.
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!!!
I normally use the package that comes with the ham because so many glaze recipes are
Complicated. This was simple and delicious!!!
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?
Turned out amazing! Thank you. I doubled the recipe for our family. Perfect!
What if you don’t have orange juice or cloves
You go get some:)
Very excellent! Naked it with red potatoes and sweet potatoes. The glaze was a winner! Definitely saving and using again.
Loved it. Used allspice in place of cinnamon and cloves, turned out great.
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!
I’m going to get his glaze a try and I’ll come back and let you know how it came out
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.
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
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!
This took our store bought ham for Thanksgiving to the next level. Thank you!
This glaze is the best! I’ve used [email protected] 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.
Best problem ever! Happy Thanksgiving.
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!
Ground cloves! 🙂 Happy thanksgiving!
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!!
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!
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.
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
That’s awesome Stacey! So happy it was a big hit with your family.
All your recipes are absolutely wonderful. No surprises. Regular ordinary food cooked to its finest. I just love them. You are a great cook!
Thank you Laura for this sweet comment!
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?
Fantastic glaze! Flavors went perfectly with the ham. Truly a great, 5-ingredient recipe. Was not lacking anything.
I’m glad you enjoyed it!
If I were to put my ham in the crockpot, would I put this on while it’s in there or after it’s done?
I would add it on before it’s done.
My picky 4 year old granddaughter gobbled down the glazed ham I made with your recipe. It’s definitely a keeper.
I am going to try your ham glaze recipe tomorrow.
Best ham glaze we have ever had. This recipe is a keeper! Thank you!
My glaze didn’t thicken at all. Followed the recipe, what could I have done wrong? We enjoyed the flavor, but was super runny. I’d like to try again, but need it to thicken. We used raw honey, dark brown sugar and regular orange juice.
It sounds like it didn’t get hot enough to thicken. You can always add a slurry to help thicken it too.
Absolutely delicious! I didn’t have any orange juice so I used pineapple juice instead and it was and yummmmmmmy. Thank you!!
You’re welcome, Adrienne.
So glad to read that. I don’t have OJ and was planning on using pineapple!!
It is not clear if you use the glaze to cook the ham or pour it over after is done?
Actually mine is fully cooked. I am just warming it.
You can pour it over it while it’s warming as long as it won’t be in the oven more than 30 minutes. Enjoy!
Yes,I’m using pineapple juice that I poured over my my ham during cooking
The 1/2 teaspoon cloves, is that garlic cloves?
No, just regular cloves. Enjoy!
Im getting ready to make a small 2.78lb ham. Can I substitute the OJ for pineapple juice.
It’ll adjust the flavor but of course.
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
You’re welcome, Julie!
I tried your recipe for Brown Sugar Ham Glaze, and it was perfect. Thanks for all the tips too.
Can you please post the cooking time for the hams?
Nice flavor, not too sweet or overpowering. Will use this recipe again next year.
Best compliment ever, thank you so much Rigina, looking forward to you coming back again!
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!
I’m glad you decided to give it try. Thanks for the 5 stars, Terri.
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.
Thanks for the 5 stars, Lakeya.
Best glaze ever! We used dark brown sugar and it turned out excellent. We will be passing this on to our children.
Wow, that is the best compliment I could ask for! Thank you so much, happy holidays!
Can I add vinegar apple & Dijo mustard ?
And how much
Can you use this glaze if you cook your ham in a crockpot?
Yes! Absolutely, just add a bit of water to the bottom, about 1 cup. Pour the glaze over it. Happy Thanksgiving!
Do you have to use cinnamon or could I substitute Dijon mustard?
You can adjust the flavor to your liking. Enjoy!
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?
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.
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!!
Yes, that’s normal.
I made my very first Ham ever, and this glaze Was a show stopper, it made my ham perfect.
*Picky eaters approved ??
I love it!
Did you pour glaze an bake for the whole cooking time of ham ? Thanks
Can you use this glaze if you cook your ham in a crockpot?
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!
Are you using ground or whole cloves?
This glaze was soooo goood I wanted to drink the glaze in the pan. It was perfect for my Easter 2020 smoked ham!!!
Yay!! So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the 5 stars.
This delicious, no tweaking at all! Thanks
Made this glaze for my Easter ham today and it came out so tasty. My husband and kids loved it!
So glad you loved it! Thank you so much for the review and happy Easter.
Seems pretty easy and yet sounds so good. Will definitely give this a try.
Can I skip the cloves?
Thank you making this for dinner tonight cant wait
Can I make it without orange juice?
You’ll need to use another juice in its place.
Apple juice works great. Didn’t have orange juice so I used apple instead and came out great.
How about substituting the O.J for white grape juice?
Thanks so much
That sounds delicious!
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.
Hi there, how much Dijon would I use on a 7.5kg ham, if I was to make this alteration?
I’d double the recipe so if you’re making that alteration, add 6 tablespoons of dijon. Enjoy!
Theres never any ham left when I use this glaze recipes and my kids hate food haha. Amazing thanks!
Glad this one is a winner, Louis!
A simple, easy and good combination of flavors recipe.
I love ur recipe!!! I also really loved it when I saw that I am also Sabrina Snyder (Ball)!!!
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.
You’re welcome, Rita. Glad it was a success! Thanks for the 5 stars.
Do you melt the honey I have no garlic I have garlic butter
I’m confused by what you’re asking. This recipe doesn’t call for garlic.
What does this recipe mean by cloves? You know there are cloves of garlic so this is pretty confusing.
Sorry for the confusion, it’s for ground cloves, which is that dark colored spice in the picture of all the ingredients. Happy Thanksgiving!
Everything looks amazing! I’m trying the brown sugar honey glaze for my Christmas ham. I’m so excited.
What if you dont have orange juice can you use pineapple juice instead?
I ALSO LIKE TO ADD LOTS OF GARLIC POWDER OR GRANULE TO THE GLAZE
Would love to try this for Christmas Eve…was wondering what temp you suggest for baking the ham?
I have a whole post that includes the ham and the glaze. https://dinnerthendessert.com/baked-ham/
I don’t have honey, is there a substitute
You can substitute with light corn syrup. Enjoy!
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.
So glad you all enjoyed it!
Followed the glaze recipe but it’s so watery I had to keep adding sugar to get it to a “glaze” consistency.
I found I had to cook it longer than the 3-4 minutes to get it to a thick consistency.
Do I use “WHOLE” cloves, or “GROUND” cloves???
I used ground cloves in this recipe. Hope this helps! Let me know how it comes out!
Can you make a brown sugar ham glaze with just cinnamon and brown sugar,if so,how?
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.
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!
Thanks for coming back to let me know Shae. I’m honored this is your new go-to glaze. 🙂
How big of a ham did you use for this recipe?
My ham was around 8-9 pounds.
Can I do without honey?
You can substitute with maple syrup if you’d like. I hope you enjoy it!
Love this glaze — so much better than the packets that come with a ham!
Oh I can’t wait to try your brown sugar glaze. Sounds so easy and delish!!
Can I use clove oil instead of regular clove seasoning
Yes though you’ll want to use sparinly as clove oil is stronger. Enjoy!
Yum this looks delicious! Can’t wait to try!
This glaze looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it on my Christmas Ham!
It’s so good!!
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. ?
You’ll want to add the glaze when there’s about 20-30 minutes left of cooking.
Ham is not the same without this glaze!! It is so delicious!!
I know, right? They go together perfectly!