Homemade raisin sauce is the perfect addition to a holiday ham!

This old fashioned raisin sauce recipe is easy to make with fresh citrus flavor and lots of plump raisins. Spoon it over slices of baked ham for serving.

Raisin sauce in a serving dish

An Easy Raisin Sauce for Ham

Made in minutes in one pan, this sauce is ready for serving over ham, whether in the crockpot, air fryer, or glazed ham steaks.

Sauce – Water and brown sugar are the base of this sauce. Light or dark brown sugar work just fine. A splash of apple cider vinegar balances the sweetness.

Seasonings – Cloves are fragrant and add a little spice. Use whole cloves (and count them to ensure you don’t miss any!) so they’re easy to remove after cooking. You can add a pinch of cinnamon in place if you don’t have cloves.

Raisins – Use regular raisins or golden raisins in this sauce. Other dried fruits can be added if you’d like.

Add-Ins –Feel free to stir in some brandy, bourbon, whiskey, or rum (don’t worry—the alcohol burns off)! Add rum extract for a delicious rum-raisin sauce to serve over homemade ice cream.

PRO TIP: Be sure to count your cloves as you add them so you can ensure they’re removed. The color can blend with the raisins, so knowing how many ensures nobody gets a spicy bite!

How to Make Raisin Sauce

Simmer this raisin sauce to make the best glaze for ham or other meat dishes.

  1. Simmer the sauce ingredients per the recipe below.
  2. Add raisins & orange zest and simmer.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in butter & salt.
  4. Discard cloves & serve warm.
Raisin sauce mixture being prepared in a pan

Did you enjoy this Raisin Sauce for Ham recipe? Let us know in a comment below! 

Raisin Sauce for Ham in a glass pitcher
5 from 19 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Raisin Sauce for Ham

This sweet raisin sauce makes the perfect glaze for ham or other meat dishes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6


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  • 1 cup cold water + 3 tablespoons
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4 whole cloves
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • pinch of salt


  • Combine water, brown sugar, cornstarch, vinegar, and cloves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat while whisking.
  • Add raisins and orange zest, reduce heat to a simmer (medium low) and let cook 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in butter and salt. Remove and discard cloves.
  • Serve warm over ham.


Optional: add 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard to the sauce
If desired, rum, brandy or whiskey can be added.
Serve over ham or over pound cake or ice cream.
5 from 19 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 146 | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 28mg | Potassium: 178mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg

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

Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Raisin Sauce for Ham in a glass and in a spoon with a title
Raisin Sauce for Ham ingredients in the pot with writing
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Raisin Sauce for Ham ingredients in the pot and plated dish with a title


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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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5 from 19 votes (19 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. tasted like a liquid candy bar no character so I added 2 tsp rum and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper and double vinegar. now yum yum