Brown Sugar Glazed Ham

This post may contain affiliate links. Read full disclosure.

This brown sugar glazed ham is a succulent, show-stopping centerpiece. We lavishly brush a fully-cooked ham with a decadent blend of rich brown sugar, Dijon mustard, and aromatic cloves then bake. The perfectly glazed slices will leave holiday guests begging for seconds.

📌 Pin Brown Sugar Glazed Ham

Brown sugar glaze being poured over the top of a spiral ham.

Want to Save This Recipe?

Enter your email below and we’ll send the recipe straight to your inbox! 👩🏻‍🍳 Plus you’ll receive a few new recipes weekly.

Save Recipe

* By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from Confetti and Bliss.

👩🏻‍🍳 Why this Recipe’s a Keeper

This brown sugar glazed ham is the star of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter dinner. When your family gathers around the table, you’ll be proud to serve this flavorful main course that’s garnished with aromatic fresh herbs.

  • It strikes the perfect balance between sweet and savory. The sweet/sticky caramelization compliments the saltiness of the meat while providing an unparalleled depth of flavor. It’s this irresistible flavor profile that make this the best recipe for brown sugar glazed ham.
  • It’s an easy recipe that requires minimal effort. Our simple brown sugar glaze comes together on stovetop in just 5 minutes. We brush the glaze over the ham before baking, then once during baking. This is the ideal recipe for both new and seasoned cooks.
  • This holiday ham has gorgeous charred edges. The presentation is beautiful. It’s everything we hope for when creating a delicious holiday centerpiece for the dinner table. It’s a timeless classic that never fails to impress.
  • This brown sugar glazed ham is very versatile. Whether you’re hosting a holiday feast, a Sunday brunch, or a casual diner, this succulent glazed ham is ideal for all these occasions. It’s a reliable choice for celebrations and gatherings year-round.
A spiral-cut brown sugar glazed ham on a white serving platter with fresh herbs.

Pair this main course with delicious sides like Brussels sprouts with bacon, Southern baked mac and cheese, sour cream mashed potatoes and gravy, cheesy scalloped potatoes, and a basket of upgraded Jiffy cornbread.

If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, you can make scrambled eggs with ham, or thinly slice the meat for sandwiches. Or cube the ham and add it to casseroles, baked beans, and pizza, or use it as a meaty garnish for soups.

A hand holding a serving fork and separating layers of a sliced spiral ham.

🧑🏼‍🍳 Expert Tips

  • Choose the right ham. Select a high-quality ham, whether it’s bone-in or boneless. I prefer a spiral-cut ham as it allows the brown sugar glaze to penetrate the meat better. When cooking for a small family, 1 to 3 people, look for a small boneless “anytime” ham (usually about 4 pounds) and halve the glaze. Follow the recipe instructions as written.
  • Score the ham. If your ham is not spiral cut, score it so the glaze can penetrate the meat. Use a sharp knife to make shallow cuts in a diamond or crisscross pattern. Ensure the cuts are not too deep. We’re just creating grooves for the glaze, not cutting through the meat.
  • Prevent brown sugar glaze from losing moisture: When assembling the glaze, don’t let it simmer too long or it will lose too much moisture. It’ will’ll harden up like caramel when it cools. But if it does harden, rewarm over medium low heat (about 2 minutes) until it’s the consistency of syrup.
  • Let the ham rest. Allow the ham to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful ham.
Slices of brown sugar glazed ham on a dinner plate with mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

🛒 Ingredients

  • Bone-in Spiral Ham: This type of ham is fully cooked and just needs to be reheated. If you choose a ham that is not already spiral cut, make sure that it’s already fully cooked! I recommend a bone-in ham for the best flavor and juiciness. Costco has a great one – their Kirkland brand.
  • Salted Butter: This rich creamy ingredient helps the brown sugar glaze stick to the ham. It also helps the outside of the ham become browned, crisp and beautifully caramelized.
  • Light Brown Sugar: Adds an earthy sweetness that comes from molasses, and pairs deliciously with salty ham.
  • Honey: Helps create a sticky glaze, and enhances the sweetness of the brown sugar. Additionally, honey and mustard are a great combination!
  • Fresh Minced Rosemary: Adds a bit of fresh herbaceousness to the brown sugar glazed ham.
  • Garlic: Is another classic flavor that pairs well with ham. We’re grating the garlic so it will evenly incorporate into the glaze.
  • Dijon Mustard or Whole Grain Mustard: A classic pairing with ham. We’re using just a touch in the glaze for a light tasty bite. Dijon mustard is a classic for brown sugar glazed ham, but for a lovely texture – feel fee to use grainy mustard instead. However, if you aren’t a fan of mustard, feel free to leave it out, or sub with a splash of apple cider vinegar.
  • Ground Cloves: This holiday spice adds a warm touch of heat, and provides the brown sugar glaze with a bold comforting aroma.
  • Kosher Salt: This delicious seasoning enhances the flavors of the other ingredients and balances out the sweet.
  • Freshly-cracked Black Pepper: Adds an earthy taste with a bit of complexity, and a slight touch of heat.
Ingredients for making a brown sugar glazed ham.

📖 Recipe Steps

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 325ºF. Calculate your ham’s approximate cooking time by multiplying the weight of the ham by 15 minutes per pound. A 9-pound ham will need to cook for approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes.

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add in brown sugar, honey, garlic, and rosemary. Cook just until the mixture is bubbly and the brown sugar has dissolved. Immediately remove from heat. Stir in mustard, cloves, salt and pepper.
  2. Remove the spiral ham from its package. Place the meat cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Brush 1/3 of the brown sugar glaze over the ham. Cover the ham loosely with aluminum foil. Bake the ham for half of its total cook time. (For a 9-pounder this is 1 hour.)
  4. Carefully remove the foil from the ham. Brush it with another 1/3 of the glaze. Return the ham to the oven – uncovered. Roast it for the remainder of its cook time, or until the internal temperature reaches 140ºF on an instant-read thermometer.

RECIPE TIP: The brown sugar glaze will thicken as it sits. To restore it’s pourable/brushable consistency, thin it out by setting the saucepan over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes. It will warm and melt.

How to prep a brown sugar glaze and brush it over the spiral ham.
  1. Remove the ham from the oven.
  2. Transfer ham to a serving platter. Optional: Surround the bottom of the ham with perky fresh herbs to add a pop of green color for a beautiful presentation.
  3. Add any pan drippings to the saucepan with the last 1/3 of the glaze. Heat over medium-low heat until bubbly and hot, about 2 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a gravy boat to serve with the ham.
  4. Use a large meat fork to hold the ham steady, while using a carving knife (or serrated knife) to slice the ham from the bone.
How to bake, glaze and slice a brown sugar glazed ham.

👩🏻‍🍳 Recipe FAQ

These are the most commonly-asked questions for making the BEST brown sugar glaze for ham, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.

How to give brown sugar glaze a maple flavor?

For a subtle maple flavor, swap out half (or all) of the honey in the recipe for a good-quality maple syrup.

What type of mustard for brown sugar mustard glaze?

Whole grain mustard is a favorite. It’s made with whole and slightly ground mustard seeds which give it a coarse texture. For a smoother glaze with a good balance of tart and tangy, use Dijon mustard.

What’s the best type of ham to buy?

For fabulous flavor plus simplicity, buy a fully-cooked spiral ham. But for a deeply-savory taste (because of the fat), buy a bone-in (fully cooked) half leg ham from the butcher. It’s the type with rind/skin intact. There are 2 pieces of the leg to choose from. Select the half leg portion that looks like a handle because it’s so much easier to carve.

How to glaze a bone-in fully cooked ham?

Remove the rind or skin of the ham (it can be easily peeled off), but leave the fat on! With a sharp knife, score the entire ham in a 1-inch diamond pattern, cutting no more than 1/4 inch deep. Place the ham on a baking sheet and brush with brown sugar glaze. Bake as directed.

What are the best spices for brown sugar glaze?

Start with fresh minced rosemary, ground cloves, kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper. If desired, you can also use a pinch or two of ground cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice), onion powder, ground sage, ground ginger (or ground nutmeg), and dried parsley.

Spiral ham with brown sugar glaze on a white platter with fresh rosemary and sage.

🍽 More Classic Holiday Recipes

Get your holiday menu ready with these delicious biscuits and sides. Print your favorites for later. Or for complete access to these recipes from anywhere, at any time, pin them to Pinterest.

Thick brown sugar glaze being poured over ham slices on a dinner plate.

Rate This Recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Flavor testers rated this the BEST brown sugar glazed ham. They loved the combination of sweet and savory flavors in the delicious glaze, and the charred edges and caramelized flavor it contributed to the baked ham.

If you agree the brown sugar glaze recipe is amazing, give this easy recipe a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero. Pin it to Pinterest.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

Want to Save This Recipe?

Enter your email below and we’ll send the recipe straight to your inbox! 👩🏻‍🍳 Plus you’ll receive a few new recipes weekly.

Save Recipe

* By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from Confetti and Bliss.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Brown sugar glaze being poured over the top of a spiral ham.

Brown Sugar Glazed Ham


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 14 reviews

  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Total Time: 2 Hours 10 Minutes
  • Yield: 10 Servings 1x
Save Recipe

Description

Brown sugar glazed ham features delicious charred edges and a fabulous caramelized flavor. It’s a holiday tradition that’s easy to make. The secret to its savory taste and texture lies in the glaze. 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 spiral cut ham (bone-in/fully-cooked), about 9 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (or whole grain mustard)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper

Instructions

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 325ºF. Calculate your ham’s approximate cooking time by multiplying the weight of the ham by 15 minutes per pound. A 9-pound ham will need to cook for approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes.

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add in brown sugar, honey, garlic, and rosemary. Cook just until the mixture is bubbly and the sugar has dissolved. Immediately remove from heat. Stir in mustard, cloves, salt and pepper.
  2. Remove the spiral ham from its package. Place the meat cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush 1/3 of the brown sugar glaze over the ham. Cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Bake the ham for half of its total cook time. (For a 9-pounder this is 1 hour.)
  3. Carefully remove the foil from the ham. *Brush it with another 1/3 of the glaze. Return the ham to the oven – uncovered. Roast it for the remainder of its cook time, or until the internal temperature reaches 140ºF on an instant-read thermometer.
  4. Remove ham from the oven. Transfer it to a serving platter. Add any pan drippings to the saucepan with the last 1/3 of the glaze. Heat over medium-low heat until bubbly and hot, about 2 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a gravy boat to serve with the ham.

* RECIPE TIP: The glaze will thicken as it sits. To restore it’s pourable/brushable consistency, thin it out by setting the saucepan over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes. It will warm and melt.

Notes

Best spices for brown sugar glaze: Start with rosemary, ground cloves, kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper. If desired, you can also add a pinch or two of ground cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice), onion powder, ground sage, ground ginger (or ground nutmeg).

How to glaze a bone-in (fully-cooked) ham with rind: Remove the rind or skin of the ham (it’s easy to peel off), but leave the fat on! With a sharp knife, score the entire ham in a 1-inch diamond pattern, cutting no more than 1/4 inch deep. Place the ham on a baking sheet and brush with brown sugar glaze. Bake as directed.

  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: About 2 Hours
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

Brown Sugar Glaze Ham 👉🏻 Join the Convo

Are you excited to make this brown sugar glazed ham? Do you prefer eating ham over turkey? What sides will you pair with yours? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

14 Comments

  1. Wow this was good! A huge hit with the family. I emailed the recipe link to my sister-in-law. From this day forward this is the only recipe we need for our holiday ham.






  2. Saw this recipe just in time! I needed the kind of glaze my grandma used to make for her ham. This one tastes just like it. Delicious and savory, and came together so fast. I glazed the ham and it’s baking in the oven. I pinched off a piece just to try it, and it’s mouthwateringly delicious.