Sweet Ham Glaze Recipe To Pair Your Ham With The Perfect Glaze

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A succulent Ham Glaze Recipe can elevate your dish. Plan to impress with a rich, glossy coating that blends sweet honey with the warmth of cinnamon and a hint of orange zest for a citrus kick. Remember to baste generously, allowing the flavors to infuse deeply. If you’re worried about dryness, this glaze is your best bet for a moist, flavorful feast that might steal the show.

You’re not alone if you’re confused about transforming a simple ham into a captivating centerpiece. Picture a Ham Glaze Recipe that glistens, promising a taste as divine as the aroma swirling through your kitchen. 


On a culinary adventure through European bistros, I found the secret that master chefs swear by—a harmonious Ham Glaze Recipe. It’s important that the glaze pairs perfectly with the meat, enhancing but never overpowering.

During a memorable visit to a friend’s home feast in the Middle East, I was introduced to a glaze that sang with spices and whispered secrets of distant lands. Make sure you aim for that balance of sweetness and spice. 

There, over laughter and stories, we revealed the benefits of a perfectly glazed ham. Best bet? Find ways to incorporate these global flavors into your kitchen artistry. Let this recipe be the bridge from your oven to a world of indulgent taste.

What Is Ham Glaze? 

A Ham Glaze is a mixture created to enhance the flavor and appearance of cooked ham. It usually combines sweet elements like honey or brown sugar with tangy components such as mustard or vinegar and often includes spices like cinnamon or cloves. 

When applied to the ham during the final stages of cooking, it caramelizes into a sticky, shiny coating.  This adds a depth of flavor and gives the ham an attractive finish. If you’re worried about dry meat, the glaze also helps retain moisture, ensuring a juicy bite every time.

History Of Ham Glaze Recipe 

The origins of the ham glaze recipe are not clear-cut, but it’s important to note that glazing meats can be traced back centuries. 

Before roasting European feasts, cooks often coat meats in honey and fruit juices to enhance flavor and appeal. 

However, the modern sweet and sticky ham glaze that many enjoy during holidays might be a more recent American innovation, evolving from the 20th century onwards. 

It reflects a blend of cultural influences, incorporating spices and techniques that travelers and immigrants brought to the United States.

Interesting Facts About Ham Glaze Recipe

Here are some interesting facts about the recipe:

Global Twist

Glazing ham is found worldwide, with each region adding its local flavors, from Europe’s use of apricot preserves to the Caribbean’s rum-infused glazes.

Historical Roots

Glazing meats can be traced back to medieval times when cooks used honey and fruit juices to sweeten the meats they served to nobility.

Culinary Science

The caramelization of sugars during the glazing process is a Maillard reaction, which provides the ham with its distinctive flavor and appealing golden-brown color.


A ham glaze can double as a glaze for other dishes, such as roasted vegetables, or even as a base for barbecue sauce.

Nutritional Adaptability

Glaze recipes can be adjusted for various dietary needs, substituting sugars for natural sweeteners like stevia or using gluten-free ingredients.

Flavor Enhancer

Besides adding flavor, the glaze helps lock in moisture, keeping the ham juicy and succulent.

Leftover Magic

Leftover ham glaze can be repurposed to create new sauces or as a sweetener in baking, demonstrating its versatility beyond its initial use.

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce?

  • Southern United States: Often includes bourbon or cola for a smoky caramel flavor.
  • Germany: A beer-based glaze is common, incorporating local brews for a malty taste.
  • Italy: You might see a balsamic vinegar glaze, adding a Mediterranean tang.
  • Caribbean: Utilizes tropical fruits like pineapple or mango, often with a rum addition.
  • Scandinavia: Berry glazes, using lingonberries or cranberries, are popular for a tart contrast.
  • France: A Dijon mustard glaze is a classic, reflecting the country’s mustard tradition.
  • Asian Influence: Soy or hoisin sauce can be used for a sweet and savory glaze.

What Will Make You Love This Ham Glaze Recipe? 

You’ll love this Ham Glaze Recipe for its perfect flavor harmony that aims to tantalize your taste buds. 

The benefits are manifold; it’s a simple way to elevate a classic dish, ensuring your ham is the highlight of any dining occasion. 

In my experience, the lustrous sheen it imparts is visually stunning, promising a feast for the eyes and the palate. 

If you’re confused about which glaze to choose, consider this one for its versatility—it pairs splendidly with various side dishes. 

The recipe’s subtle hints of spice and sweetness might remind you of a cherished restaurant visit, ensuring you capture that professional culinary essence right in your home kitchen.

Bowl and Chicken

Ingredients List

Maple Syrup1 cup
Brown Sugar1 cup
Green Onions3

Ingredient Tips

  • Maple Syrup: Opt for pure maple syrup for its natural and robust flavor.
  • Brown Sugar: Use dark brown sugar for a deeper molasses note in your glaze.
  • Green Onions: Choose fresh green onions for a subtle sharpness and color.
  • Consistency: If the glaze is too thick, thin it with warm water or apple cider.
  • Storage: Store leftover syrup and sugar in airtight containers to maintain freshness.
  • Substitutions: Honey or agave can replace maple syrup if needed.
  • Variation: Add a pinch of cayenne for a surprising hint of heat.

What Are The Variations Of Ham Glaze Recipe? 

  • Honey-Mustard Glaze: Combines the sweetness of honey with the tang of mustard.
  • Spiced Orange Glaze: Infuses a citrus zest with warm spices like cinnamon and clove.
  • Bourbon-Brown Sugar Glaze: Melds the smokiness of bourbon with the sweetness of brown sugar.
  • Peach-Apricot Glaze: Offers a fruity twist with stone fruit preserves.
  • Maple-Dijon Glaze: A New England favorite, pairing maple syrup with Dijon mustard.
  • Cherry-Balsamic Glaze: Sweet cherries and balsamic vinegar create a sophisticated profile.
  • Coffee Glaze: Coffee adds a rich, bold depth, perfect for coffee lovers.
  • Cola Glaze: Cola adds a caramel note and tenderizes the ham.

Recipe Directions

Cooking Method

  • Combine 1 cup of maple syrup in a mixing bowl with 1 cup of brown sugar.
  • Slice 3 green onions thinly and add them to the bowl with the syrup and sugar.
  • Stir thoroughly until the sugar is mostly dissolved and the ingredients are well combined.

Applying The Glaze

  • Prepare your ham for glazing according to your preferred method (e.g., scoring the surface).
  • Brush the glaze over your ham generously, ensuring an even coating.
  • If oven-baking, baste the ham with additional glaze every 30 minutes until cooking is complete.
  • Allow the ham to rest briefly before slicing to let the glaze set and flavors meld.

Experience the magic of the perfect ham glaze, where its glistening coat enhances flavors and summons smiles at every table.

Scaling The Ham Glaze Recipe 

Scaling the Ham Glaze Recipe is straightforward. For a smaller batch, halve the quantities: use 1/2 cup of maple syrup, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and 1-2 sliced green onions. 

This amount is perfect for a 2 to 3-pound ham. Conversely, for a larger gathering, double the ingredients: 2 cups of maple syrup, 2 cups of brown sugar, and 6 sliced green onions, suitable for a 10 to 14-pound ham. 

Bowl and Chopper

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads? 

This ham glaze recipe is versatile. If you’re looking to use it as a marinade, it can impart meats a sweet and savory flavor. 

However, its thick consistency is not ideal as a dipping sauce or salad dressing in its original form. For a dipping sauce, you might thin it out with some vinegar or citrus juice. 

Mix it with oil and more vinegar to transform it into a salad dressing to achieve a pourable consistency. Adjust the seasoning to suit the lighter application and the complementary flavors of the dish you plan to enhance.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Ham Glaze Recipe? 

Scalloped Potatoes

Creamy and cheesy, they complement the glaze’s sweetness.

Green Bean Almondine

The nuttiness offsets the sugar in the glaze.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Their earthy bitterness pairs well with the ham’s glaze.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Echoes the sweet notes while adding a different texture.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

The robust garlic flavor cuts through the glaze’s richness.

Baked Macaroni And Cheese

A classic that harmonizes with the ham’s sweet overtones.

Grilled Asparagus

Its slight char contrasts nicely with the glaze’s caramelization.

Ham Glaze Recipe

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Ham Glaze Recipe? 

  • Glazed Easter Ham: A springtime staple where the glaze adds a festive sheen and taste.
  • Christmas Ham: Adorned with a sweet glaze, it’s a traditional holiday centerpiece.
  • Honey-Glazed Ham Steak: For a quick, everyday take on the classic flavor.
  • Baked Ham with Pineapple: Tropical notes from pineapple complement the glaze.
  • Ham Glazed Loaf: A homely dish where the glaze adds a moist, sweet coating.
  • Glazed Ham Sandwiches: Upgraded with a swipe of glaze for an extra zing.
  • Roast Pork with Ham Glaze: Borrowing the glaze for a twist on roasted pork.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Ham Glaze Recipe Offers? 

  • Sweetness: From maple syrup and brown sugar, providing a caramel-like depth.
  • Savory: Green onions introduce a mild, earthy undertone.
  • Complexity: The combination creates a layered flavor that enhances the ham.
  • Glossy Finish: Adds a visual appeal that hints at the luxurious taste.
  • Aromatic: The cooking process releases a comforting, inviting aroma.
  • Sticky Texture: Produces a satisfying mouthfeel that coats the palate pleasantly.
  • Versatile Pairing: Complements both the saltiness of the ham and the flavors of various side dishes.
Ham Glaze Recipe

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life? 

This ham glaze can be stored and preserved for future use. If you’re confused about storage, remember to place it in an airtight container or jar to maintain its quality. In the refrigerator, the glaze can last for up to a week. 

You might freeze it for a longer shelf life; when stored in a freezer-safe container, it can last for 1-2 months. 

Make sure you label the container with the date to keep track. However, you must thaw it properly in the refrigerator overnight before using it again to ensure the best taste and consistency.

What Are The Substitutes For Ham Glaze Recipe? 

  • Apricot Preserves: Offers a fruitier, tangy taste.
  • Molasses: Provides a deeper, more caramelized sweetness.
  • Apple Cider Glaze: Introduces a tart and fruity profile.
  • Balsamic Reduction: Adds a rich, complex acidity.
  • Agave Nectar: A vegan option that’s milder than honey.
  • Maple-Dijon Blend: For a more piquant, mustard-forward flavor.
  • Orange Marmalade: Gives a citrusy, bitter-sweet kick.
  • Brown Sugar & Mustard Mix: Simple yet effective for a similar taste.
  • Peach or Pineapple Jam: For a tropical, sweet glaze.
  • Hoisin Sauce: An Asian-inspired, savory-sweet alternative.
Ham Glaze Recipe

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce?

To adjust the consistency of the Ham Glaze Recipe, if you find it’s too thick, gently warm it and add a small amount of warm water, apple cider, or orange juice until you reach the desired thinness. 

For a thicker glaze, continue to simmer the mixture on low heat, allowing it to reduce and concentrate. Remember to stir frequently to prevent burning and ensure even thickening. 

If you’re worried about altering the flavor, add the thinning liquid in small increments and taste to maintain the balance of flavors. Make sure you achieve the perfect glaze consistency for basting or serving.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm? 

The Ham Glaze Recipe is best served warm. Serving it warm enhances its aromatic qualities and ensures that it maintains a smooth consistency that can easily be brushed onto the ham. 

If the glaze cools and thickens, gently reheat it on the stove or microwave, stirring well to restore its fluidity. 

Remember to keep the glaze warm as you bake, as this helps it adhere to the ham and allows the sugars to caramelize properly during the cooking process, creating that desirable sticky, glossy coating that is a hallmark of a perfectly glazed ham.

Ham Glaze Recipe

Nutritional Values 

A typical Ham Glaze Recipe is high in sugars, contributing to its sweet taste, with minor nutrients from green onions. It should be enjoyed in moderation due to its caloric density, primarily from maple syrup and brown sugar.

What Are The Total Calories In Ham Glaze Recipe? 

To calculate the total calories in the Ham Glaze Recipe, consider the main ingredients: 1 cup of maple syrup, 1 cup of brown sugar, and 3 green onions. Here’s an approximate breakdown:

  • 1 cup of maple syrup: about 840 calories
  • 1 cup of brown sugar: about 830 calories
  • 3 green onions: about 10 calories

This brings the total to roughly 1680 calories for the entire batch of glaze.

Ham Glaze Recipe

Ham glaze, a sweet and savory alchemy, transforms the simple roast into a festive feast with every succulent slice.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Ham Glaze Recipe 

  • Sugar Content: High in sugars, unsuitable for diabetics or low-sugar diets.
  • Vegan: Traditional recipes may not be vegan due to honey or maple syrup processed with animal products.
  • Gluten-Free: Generally gluten-free, but check individual ingredient labels to be sure.
  • Allergies: Free from common allergens like nuts, dairy, and soy unless cross-contamination is a concern.
  • Low-Carb/Keto: Not compatible with low-carb or ketogenic diets.
  • Halal: Check the maple syrup source; some processing methods may not be Halal.
  • Kosher: Similar to Halal, it depends on ingredient certification and processing.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition Table

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce? 

  • Overheating the Glaze: Cooking it at too high a temperature can lead to it hardening or burning.
  • Not Stirring Enough: Failing to stir the glaze regularly can cause uneven cooking and crystallization of the sugar.
  • Applying Too Early: Brushing the ham with glaze too early in cooking can result in a burnt exterior.
  • Using Artificial Flavors: Opting for artificial maple syrup or flavorings can compromise the taste and quality of the glaze.
  • Ignoring Glaze Thickness: Not adjusting the thickness of the glaze can affect its adherence to the ham and the final texture.
  • Forgetting to Score the Ham: Neglecting to score the ham can prevent the glaze from penetrating the meat.
  • Overglazing: Applying too much glaze can overwhelm the ham’s natural flavors.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce? 

  • Glaze for Other Meats: Brush it on chicken, pork chops, or meatloaf before baking.
  • Barbecue Sauce Base: Mix with ketchup and vinegar for a homemade barbecue sauce.
  • Vegetable Toss: Coat roasted vegetables for added sweetness and sheen.
  • Sandwich Spread: Enhance the flavor of sandwiches or burgers.
  • Salad Dressing Starter: Whisk with oil and vinegar for a sweet salad dressing.
  • Pizza Topping: Drizzle over pizza with ham and pineapple for extra zest.
  • Stir-fry Enhancement: Add to a stir-fry for a sweet and savory note.
  • Dipping Sauce: Thin it out and serve with chicken tenders or poppers.
Ham Glaze Recipe

Special Tools & Equipment Needed 

  • Mixing Bowl: To combine the glaze ingredients.
  • Whisk: For thoroughly mixing the glaze to a smooth consistency.
  • Saucepan: If you prefer to heat the glaze before applying.
  • Pastry Brush: To evenly apply the glaze over the ham.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurate ingredient measurements.
  • Kitchen Knife: To slice the green onions and score the ham.
  • Cutting Board: For prepping the green onions.
  • Aluminum Foil or Baking Paper: To line the baking tray for easy cleanup.
  • Basting Spoon: If a pastry brush isn’t available for spooning the glaze over the ham.
  • Storage Container: For leftover glaze, if applicable.

Frequently Asked Questions  

Can I Make The Ham Glaze Recipe Ahead Of Time?

Yes, you can prepare the glaze up to 3 days in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Gently reheat it before using it to restore its brushable consistency.

Is The Ham Glaze Recipe Gluten-Free?

Typically, the ingredients in this glaze—maple syrup, brown sugar, and green onions—are gluten-free. However, always check your ingredients’ labels to ensure they haven’t been processed in a facility that handles gluten-containing products.

Can I Substitute The Maple Syrup With Something Else?

Absolutely. If maple syrup isn’t available, you can use honey, agave syrup, or even molasses. Remember that each substitute will bring a slightly different flavor profile to the glaze.

What If My Glaze Is Too Runny Or Too Thick?

If it’s too runny, simmer the glaze over low heat to reduce and thicken it. Mix in a small amount of warm water or juice if it’s too thick until you achieve the desired consistency.

Can I Use The Leftover Glaze For Other Dishes?

Certainly, leftover glaze can be used to baste chicken and pork or as a sweet addition to stir-fries and roasted vegetables. It can also be thinned to make a sweet and savory salad dressing or dipping sauce. Just remember to store it properly and use it within the shelf life.

Sweet Ham Glaze Recipe To Pair Your Ham With The Perfect Glaze

0 from 0 votes
Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Sauces

5 – 6

Prep time





This Ham Glaze Recipe combines the natural sweetness of maple syrup with rich brown sugar and zesty green onions, creating a luscious coating that caramelizes beautifully on the ham, adding a glossy finish and a layer of irresistible flavor that enhances the meat’s natural juiciness.


  • 1 cup 1 Maple Syrup

  • 1 cup 1 Brown Sugar

  • 3 3 Green Onions

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation: Gather your ingredients: 1 cup of maple syrup, 1 cup of brown sugar, and 3 sliced green onions.
  • Combine Ingredients: In a mixing bowl, pour in the maple syrup. Add the brown sugar.
  • Slice Onions: Take the green onions and slice them thinly. Then, add them to the bowl with the syrup and sugar.
  • Mix Well: Using a whisk or spoon, mix all the ingredients until the brown sugar is mostly dissolved and the mixture is uniform.
  • Apply Glaze: When your ham is about 30 minutes from being done (refer to your ham’s cooking instructions for precise timing), apply the glaze. Use a pastry brush to spread a generous layer of glaze over the ham.
  • Baste: Continue to baste the ham with the glaze every 10 minutes until the cooking is complete. This will create a rich, caramelized crust.
  • Finalize: Once the ham is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing. This allows the glaze to set and the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
  • Serve: Carve the ham into slices, ensuring each piece has a sticky, sweet glaze coating. Serve warm and enjoy!

Recipe Video


  • Scoring The Ham: Before applying the glaze, score the surface of the ham in a diamond pattern. This allows the glaze to penetrate the meat and adds visual appeal.
  • Glaze Timing: Apply the glaze during the last 30-45 minutes of baking to prevent it from burning, as the sugars can caramelize quickly.
  • Adjusting Sweetness: Depending on your preference for sweetness, you can adjust the amount of maple syrup or brown sugar. Start with less and add more as needed.
  • Consistency Checks: If the glaze is too thick, thin it with warm water or juice. If it’s too thin, simmer it for a few minutes to reduce and thicken.
  • Allergy Advice: This recipe is nut-free and dairy-free, but always check your ingredients if you’re serving guests with food sensitivities.
  • Storage: If you have a leftover glaze, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week or freeze it for up to two months.

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