Brown Sugar Glazed Ham

This brown sugar glazed ham is super easy and results in a juicy, succulent, ultra flavorful holiday baked ham in 90 minutes!

A spiral ham is glazed and placed on a serving platted with fresh herbs for serving.

Baked ham

If you love cooking for the holidays, check out my bacon wrapped turkey, caramel Dutch apple pie, of this delicious pumpkin pie made from scratch!

Want to really impress your guests with a super easy, ultra delicious ham for the holidays? I got you covered! This baked ham is glazed in a brown sugar glaze that takes minutes to make, and the ham is super juicy!

My friend took one bite of this baked ham, closed her eyes, and exclaimed “it tastes just like Christmas!” She is totally right! The brown sugar glaze includes warming aromatic spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cardamom for a rich and delicious flavor.

This juicy baked ham is not only easy, it’s ready in under 1.5 hours! I have included all my tips and tricks so you can get absolutely nail this holiday ham!

Dark brown sugar is used for the glaze, giving it a deep and rich caramelized flavor. The orange zest and juice add the perfect floral sweetness, and the spices add a layer of festive flavors. You can’t duplicate this kind of flavor using those premade glaze packets!

A spiral ham is glazed, baked, and plated on a platter with fresh herbs.

Brown sugar glazed ham ingredients

  • Ham– A store bought, fully cooked, spiral cut ham is perfect for this recipe because it just needs to be warmed up and glazed!
  • Brown sugar– So, you have two choices here- you can use light brown sugar for a sweeter glaze, or dark brown sugar for a bolder molasses flavor. I chose dark brown sugar because the rich molasses flavor really enhanced the flavor of the glaze!
  • Honey– Local raw honey adds a layer of flavor and sweetness to the glaze.
  • Spices– Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cardamom, and cloves give the glaze a rich and festive flavor.
  • Orange– The zest and juice of an orange brings all the spices together and compliments the saltiness of the ham so well!
A fully cooked spiral ham is baked then plated with fresh herbs as garnishes.

Chef’s tips

How to pick out the perfect ham

  • Fully cooked– Buy a fully cooked ham to save yourself sanity and time. Most hams in grocery stores are smoked, fully cooked, and are packaged in brine to keep the ham super juicy and salty. Make sure you read the label reads “full cooked” or “smoked.” If the ham label reads “cook before eating,” you will have to fully cook the ham before glazing.
  • Spiral cut– A spiral cut ham means it is precut, which makes serving so much easier! I love using spiral cut hams because the glaze seeps between the cuts and the flavor soaks deep into the ham.
  • Bone in– Like any meat, a bone in ham ensures the ham will stay super juicy. The texture of a bone in ham is most natural since boneless ham means it has had to be reshaped after it was taken off the bone, which gives it a rather spongey texture. Long store short, bone in, or don’t bother.

How to cook a precooked ham with glaze

Most store bought hams are smoked (which means they are fully cooked) or are precooked and packaged with brine- you just have to warm it up!

First, I like to wrap my baking dish with tin foil because it helps keep the mess to a minimum. The brown sugar glaze can bake onto your cookware and be very difficult to wash off. Place the ham cut side facing down (this ensures a super juicy ham), then pour 1/2 cup of water in the baking dish.

Cover the ham tightly with more foil, then place it in the oven at 325 degrees and bake it for 10 minutes per lb. According to the USDA, ham should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

In the last 15 minutes of cooking, remove the foil covering, place the oven at 425 degrees, and brush the ham liberally with the glaze. Make sure you get the glaze in between the slices, too! Place the uncovered ham back in the oven for 15 minutes….and done! It’s that easy!

Easy brown sugar glaze for ham

This brown sugar ham glaze takes just a few minutes to make! Combine all the glaze ingredients in a pot, then bring it to a simmer for 2-3 minutes. Allow the glaze to cool, it will thicken as it reaches room temperature.

If you find the glaze to be too thick, you can add a few tablespoons water from the ham baking dish dish to the glaze. Add 1 tablespoon at a time and mix it well before adding more water. The glaze should be thick, but spreadable.

The spiral ham is cut with a sharp knife and large fork.

How to make brown sugar glazed spiral ham

This baked ham could not be any easier! In just a few simple steps, you will have a super juicy, ultra delicious ham.

  1. Bake the ham. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees., Wrap the baking dish in foil. Place the ham in the baking dish cut side facing down, then add 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the dish. Cover the dish tightly with foil, then place it in the oven. Cook the ham for 10 minutes per lb.
  2. Make the brown sugar glaze. Combine the honey, dark brown sugar, orange juice and zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cardamom, and clove in a pot over medium heat. Stir the mixture and allow it to simmer for 3-4 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. The glaze will look liquidy, it will thicken as it cools.
  3. Glaze the ham. In the last 15 minutes of cook, remove the ham from the oven. Remove the foil covering and discard it. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Brush the glaze on the ham, making sure it seeps between the cuts. Bake the ham for another 15 minutes uncovered.
  4. Serve. Take the baked ham out of the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Carve the ham and serve. Mangia!
Ham is sliced and plated on a gray plate next to the ham.

How much ham to serve per person

You can expect to serve between 1/2-3/4 lb of ham per person. I always like to over estimateand go with 3/4 lb per person because it’s always best to have leftovers (guests love taking home plates, especially this delicious baked ham).

What to serve with baked ham

  • Prosciutto wrapped green bean bundles are rolled with fresh rosemary and grated parmesan cheese for an extra delicious crowd pleasing side dish!
  • Here come’s the crowd pleasing favorite- mashed potatoes! They are rich, creamy, easy to make, and will be everyone’s favorite side dish!
  • Crispy pan fried broccoli florets that are equally healthy and addicting! Robust olive oil and raw garlic add a perfect touch of flavor.
  • Every good dinner starts with these rosemary garlic dinner rolls. The smell of fresh rosemary and warm bread will be so enticing, it’s hard to wait for them to cool!
  • Crusty French Bread Rolls are chewy, crusty, and soft and fluffy on the inside. These rolls are so delicious when they are hot out of the oven and are the perfect staple on your dinner table!
Ham is sliced and plated on a gray plate next to a green napkin.

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A spiral ham is glazed and placed on a serving platted with fresh herbs for serving.

Brown Sugar Glazed Ham

Sea Salt Savorings
This brown sugar glazed ham is super easy and results in a juicy, succulent, ultra flavorful holiday baked ham in 90 minutes!
5 from 16 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 2086 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 spiral cut, bone in ham 7-10 lbs
  • 1/2 cup water

Brown sugar glaze

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp clove
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom

Instructions
 

  • Bake the ham. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cover the baking dish with foil, then place the ham cut side down in the dish. Pour the water in the bottom of the dish, then cover the te dish tightly with foil. Bake the ham for 10 minutes per lb, or until it reaches the internal temperature of 145 degrees.
  • Make the glaze. Add the honey, dark brown sugar, orange juice and zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice, and cardamom to the pot and place it over medium heat. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the glaze from the heat and set aside. Allow the glaze to come to room temperature.
  • Glaze the ham. In the last 15 minutes of baking, remove the ham from the oven. Preheat to oven to 425 degrees. Remove the foil covering and discard it. Brush the ham with the glaze, making sure the glaze seeps between the cuts. Place the ham back in the oven and cook for 15 more minutes.
  • Serve. Remove the ham from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve and mangia!

Nutrition

Calories: 2086kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 173gFat: 134gSaturated Fat: 48gCholesterol: 496mgSodium: 9504mgPotassium: 2351mgFiber: 1gSugar: 36gVitamin A: 25IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 78mgIron: 7mg

Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.

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