The Best Ham Glaze (Easy)

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Ham Glaze adds the most beautifully delicious sticky exterior! Nothing creates a more festive table for a special gathering of family and friends than a steaming platter of copycat honey baked ham, glistening with a gorgeous, caramelized glaze. If ham roast is on your dinner menu, you’ll definitely need to know how to make a quick ham glaze.

This easy ham glaze produces a perfectly heavenly sweet-salty flavor combination that will make for an unforgettable dinner. Besides being a delicious complement to the meat, brown sugar glaze for ham also functions to lock in moisture, ensuring every plate holds a juicy slice of meat.

Glazed ham on a wooden cutting board

A Quick Ham Glaze

Making a glaze for ham is quick and effortless, requiring just a whisk, and a few ingredients. This recipe calls for orange juice, brown sugar, Dijon mustard and some warm spices. The combination produces a tanginess and depth of flavor that will enhance your entire meal. If you don’t have orange juice you can substitute pineapple juice with great results!

To get the most out of your orange or pineapple glaze for ham, prepare the ham for roasting beforehand. Usually grocery store hams nowadays come with the rind (i.e. skin) removed. If not, you’ll want to cut this tough, dry outer layer off. The glaze will not penetrate the rind so you’ll need to score the ham (more on how to score a ham herehow to score a ham here). The glaze will seep into these cracks, providing even more caramelized flavor as it bakes.

Traditionally, the center of each diamond is studded with a whole clove. Clove is a strong spice, and can easily overpower so a tiny pinch added to the glaze is enough for us! For an even more sensational flavor boost, you can apply a layer of pineapple rounds to the surface. Roasted pineapple is scrumptious with ham, and also holds the glaze well.

Ingredients for ham glaze

How To Make A Glaze For Ham

A ham glaze needs a few different parts:

  • Sweet: The caramelization of the sugars is what adds the sticky exterior we love so much. This can be in the form of brown sugar, honey, jam etc.
  • Tangy: Orange juice, pineapple juice, cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar all add great flavor!
  • Spices: Garlic, cloves/cinnamon, mustard, rosemary

Simply stir the ingredients together. While some recipes have you boil/thicken the glaze, I don’t find it necessary. You certainly can do that if you’d like a thicker glaze but I find adding a couple of coats of glaze adds just enough without being too thick or sweet.

When Do You Glaze a Ham? About 20-30 minutes before the ham is done (any sooner and you can risk burning the sugars in the glaze). Generously apply the glaze to the outside of the ham with a brush (you can repeat a few times if you’d like more glaze).

Glazing a ham with a brush

The next time you’re making a ham roast, but sure you make it extra special by making this brown sugar glaze for ham.

Our Favorite Ham Recipes

Glazed ham on a wooden cutting board
4.97 from 57 votes
Review Recipe

The Best Ham Glaze (Easy)

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 cup of glaze
If ham roast is on your dinner menu, you’ll definitely need to know how to make a quick ham glaze. 


  • cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup orange juice or pineapple juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons dijon mustard or grainy mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch ground cloves

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  • Whisk all ingredients together.
  • Brush over a spiral cut or scored ham.
  • If desired, brush extra overtop and broil to make the glaze golden.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition information is based on 1 tablespoon of ham glaze.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 38, Carbohydrates: 9g, Sodium: 23mg, Potassium: 22mg, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 10IU, Vitamin C: 1.9mg, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 0.1mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Dressing
Cuisine American
A glazed ham scored and baked
a ham being glazed and ham glaze ingredients
About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Recipe Rating


  1. I thought this was super easy and very good…I actually substituted apple juice instead of the other juices because that’s what I had on hand.3 stars

  2. Thanks for the recipe. I needed one on the fly. You gave the exact recipe, where others where frustrating. because they included the whole ham preparation jumbled together. So a very good, clear easy to make choice. Thanks

  3. Made this glaze on-the-fly for a ham steak. Used pineapple juice, agave syrup, stadium mustard, a shake of garlic powder and and corn starch for thickening . Poured over the hot ham steak in the frypan and let it thicken. It was great.5 stars

  4. I tried this brown sugar glaze recipe of yours and I used Balsamic Vinegar, It is delicious!

  5. made this for the first time on Thanksgiving. My 15 year old daughter is very picky. She loves the glazed ham and asks for it all the time.

      1. My husband likes cold ham and doesn’t like the way baked ham changes texture. Can I purchase a fully cooked ham and glaze it and either cook it at a really high temperature or broil it only? Any suggestion?

      2. Hi Candy, if the package says that you can eat the ham without cooking it, I see no reason why you couldn’t do that! The outside would start to warm. If you broil it, please watch it very carefully. It can burn quickly.