The 3 Ingredient Ham Glaze Recipe That Makes a Gigantic Difference

Recipe Pin
10 minutes
24 servings

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Elevate your holiday ham with this simple and delicious 3-ingredient glaze recipe. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors that will have your guests asking for seconds.

A spiral ham glistening with glaze.

Introduction: The Secret to A Delicious Ham

Are you tired of the same old holiday ham? Do you dread the instant glaze powder packet that comes with your store-bought ham? Look no further! As a ham expert, I can tell you that a simple glaze is all you need to turn a good ham into a great one. With my three-ingredient glaze recipe, you can effortlessly add a sweet and tangy flavor to the outside of the ham, giving it a beautiful sheen and making it a show-stopping main dish.

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Growing up, the honey-baked ham was always the star of the show on Christmas and Easter. Now that I’m an adult, I’m the one in charge of preparing the holiday meal twice a year, and I’ve learned that an excellent ham only needs a simple glaze to make it unforgettable. That’s why I’m excited to share this recipe with you – it’s honestly the best glaze I’ve ever tasted, and it’s one of my favorite things about a holiday ham. Trust me, this recipe has never let me down, and I’m confident it won’t let you down either. Say goodbye to boring holiday ham and hello to a delicious, easy-to-make meal that your family and friends will love!

A Perfect Glaze for Any Type of Ham

With this recipe, you have the flexibility to use any type of baked ham – bone-in, boneless, or spiral-cut. And this can also be used on partially cooked or uncooked ham by simply following the package instructions on the ham and adding this delicious glaze towards the end of cooking. Do keep in mind that the recipe is designed for hams weighing between 10 to 15 pounds, so if your ham is larger, consider scaling up the recipe for an equally delicious outcome.

A holiday ham with brown sugar glaze and side dishes.

The Key Ingredient: Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is the crucial ingredient in this glaze. Its rich and complex flavor, thanks to the presence of molasses, is perfect, providing the ideal balance of sweetness and tanginess. Brown sugar also adds depth and richness to the flavor profile, making it even more delicious. It also gives the glaze a beautiful caramel color, making it even more appealing.

Easy Preparation Steps

This doesn’t get any more straightforward…add everything to a saucepan over medium-low heat and whisking it until the sugar dissolves. That’s it. Now, this isn’t to say that you can’t whisk it in a bowl without heat before applying IF you wanted to. The heat is not a prerequisite by any means; however, it does aid the sugar in dissolving a whole lot quicker.

Modifying the Norm to Make It Not Entirely Average

Add a fourth ingredient to modify taste or texture or heat. Consider adding:

  • Zested garlic clove(s)
  • Smoked paprika
  • Rosemary
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground cloves (unless you’ve applied whole cloves directly to your ham)
  • Crushed pineapple
featured image for 3 Ingredient Ham Glaze

The 3 Ingredient Ham Glaze Recipe That Makes a Gigantic Difference

Jenny DeRemer
Elevate your holiday ham with this simple and delicious 3-ingredient glaze recipe. It's the perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors that will have your guests asking for seconds.
5 from 30 votes
Servings: 24 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 24 servings
Calories 26 kcal


  • cup brown sugar light or dark
  • cup orange juice or pineapple juice
  • 3 tablespoons prepared mustard


  • Preheat oven to 350°F or temperature indicated on ham packaging. Add all glaze ingredients to a saucepan over medium-low heat and whisk until the brown sugar has largely dissolved, about 4 to 6 minutes.
    ⅔ cup brown sugar, ⅓ cup orange juice, 3 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • Place ham in a roasting pan or baking dish and use a pastry brush to apply 1/2 of the glaze over the outside of the ham. If you have a spiral cut ham, run the brush into the grooves and between some of the slices of ham. Reserve remaining glaze.
  • Bake the ham for 30 minutes before removing and basting with 1/2 the reserved glaze. Place back into the oven for an additional 10 to 12 minutes or until an instant read thermometer displays an internal temperature of 140°F. NOTE: Refer to the package directions for heating the ham as the purveyor's heating instructions may vary.
  • Remove from the oven and apply the remaining glaze to the ham and serve.


  • Once the ham has reached the proper temperature, initiate your ovens broil feature. Broil the glazed ham for 1 to 3 minutes until the glaze begins to crackle. Be careful not to allow this step to burn the ham. Apply the remaining glaze to the ham and serve.


Please note that this recipe is to be used in conjunction with a bone-in cooked ham or bone-in cooked spiral ham with a weight of 10 to 15 pounds. If using a partially cooked or uncooked ham, follow the directions on the package and add the glaze toward the end.

The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.

Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 26kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.02gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.05gTrans Fat: 0gSodium: 22mgPotassium: 18mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 8IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 0.1mg
Did you love this recipe?Leave a comment and Let me know how it was!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Just wanted to say we made your ham glaze for easter and it came out amazing! Your tips were super easy to follow, even for someone who doesn’t cook much like me. Such a hit for the holidays. Thanks!5 stars

  2. So easy and delicious. My ham turned out so beautifully. Cant wait to make it again during the holidays!5 stars

  3. This flavor combination is so simple and it is DELISH! Love the mustard and brown sugar with the ham. Everyone loved it and the leftovers are perfect for sandwiches!5 stars

    1. Meghan, if you plan to bake a ham for Easter, make a little extra glaze because you are correct – especially with brioche or slider buns, leftover sliced ham with the tiniest drizzle of this is honestly something to look forward to! Jenny

  4. The glaze formed a beautiful sticky crust on the ham. And the ham turned out so juicy and flavorful with this glaze. This recipe is perfect for any occasion.5 stars

  5. I took the glaze recipe and used it on chicken thighs instead for a quick weeknight dinner. It was a hit with the family!5 stars

    1. Anne, yes, this glaze also works on chicken, shellfish, salmon on the grill, and (don’t laugh) but turkey drumsticks. I smoked them, then glazed for 3 hours to get things seriously sticky and gosh awful good! So, lots of things 🙂 Jenny

  6. I’m so happy that I tried your recipe because this was just amazing! Super easy and goes perfect with my mom’s ham. We all enjoyed it!5 stars