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Brown Sugar Ham Glaze

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A traditional ham dinner is always welcomed at the table. When making ham you can glaze it with different types of glaze or even just a plain honey.

If you want to give it a special twist, however, I recommend that you try a brown sugar glaze.

This recipe uses minimal ingredients and is ready in only a few minutes!

This brown sugar ham glaze is made with brown sugar, honey, orange juice, and Allspice mixture, and it is a perfect addition to your freshly baked ham. 

Brown sugar makes for a perfect balance for savory ham. Salty, sweet, and a bit shiny – what’s a better type of ham to serve your friends and family?

Using a Brown Sugar Ham Glaze

Sweetening your meal with a brown sugar ham glaze is a great way to elevate your meal for several reasons.

The first reason is that is so easy to make. In just a few minutes you will have a perfect glaze that smells and tastes amazing. Sweet glazes are a classic choice for pork for a reason.

Another reason is that the ingredients needed for this glaze are probably already laying somewhere in your pantry. Even if you don’t use Allspice, it’s so easy to make your own mixture of cinnamon and nutmeg, or whatever fits your fancy.

All you have to do is combine your ingredients in the saucepot and cook over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes.

And that is it, so easy and simple!

Which Type of Brown Sugar is Best?

This brown sugar ham glaze may be simple, but there is one thing we should clarify: what is actually brown sugar, and which type is best to use for your glaze.

How well do you know your sugar varieties? Somehow friends often have very strange ideas about what brown sugar actually is.

As they see it, anything that is not white must be some kind of brown sugar. Well, maybe it is in color, but not in the flavor or texture.

So here is a quick and easy guide to brown sugar types – and some sugars commonly mistaken to be brown sugar types:

Demerara sugar: Although many believe it to be a light brown sugar, Demerara is not brown sugar. It’s actually a variety of raw cane sugar that is minimally refined. It has large grains, a soft amber color, and a mild molasses-like taste.

For this sauce, SKIP IT!

Turbinado sugar: Much like Demerara, Turbinado sugar is a minimally refined raw cane sugar. It has medium to large brown sugar crystals, and it is very often mistaken for brown sugar. This sugar has a light caramel taste and is great for baking and sweetening beverages, but not for this glaze.

Muscovado sugar: Also known as Barbados sugar, is a variety of unrefined cane sugar in which the molasses has not been removed. It comes in light and dark varieties and has a sticky, sandy, and wet texture, with a rich and complex flavor.

You can use this one instead of brown sugar, but its flavor is much stronger. 

In general though, you want to look for sugar which is actually labeled ‘brown sugar,’ whether dark or light:

Light brown sugar: With this one, you are on the right track. It is a type of sugar in which molasses has been added. It has a wet and sandy texture, but it is less sticky than muscovado. Light brown sugar has a light caramel flavor and can be used in baked goods, but also for savory meals like this one.

Dark brown sugar: Like its counterpart, dark brown sugar is also a type of refined white sugar, with added molasses. Unlike light brown sugar, dark brown sugar has more molasses. This molasses content gives the dark brown sugar a stronger and more intense flavor. 

When Do You Add the Brown Sugar Glaze?

Most ham recipes should be glazed towards the end of cooking. As the sugar crystals cannot be stable for too long, they may burn and ruin the ham if added too early.

It is best to add the brown sugar glaze when your ham has 20-30 minutes’ time left to bake. This will ensure you have a glossy, sticky, and slightly crispy glaze over your ham, but won’t let it burn.

What is This Glaze Used For?

You can use the glaze for a pre-cooked ham. Brush or drizzle the glaze over the ham and bake it just for 10 minutes, as that is the time needed for the pre-cooked ham.

Or pour it over your fresh ham approximately 20-30 minutes before it is done baking.

You can also drizzle the glaze over a steak, pork chops, or even veggies! This is a versatile glaze you’ll be happy to have in your pocket.

Tips and Tricks

Nothing’s sadder than a tasty dinner that falls flat. So here are some tips and tricks to help you make the most of your brown sugar glaze:

  • If you want a more intense flavor, choose dark brown sugar. For a lighter flavor, light brown sugar is ideal. 
  • Instead of honey, you can add apricot or blueberry jam. It’s the same sweetness with a completely new taste.
  • For more of an autumn holiday vibe, you can use raw apple cider instead of orange juice. 
  • For a perfect match between flavors, you can serve ham with some Dijon mustard on the side. It will perfectly complement the ham and sugary glaze flavors.
  • I like to keep it simple with an Allspice mixture, but you can choose simple alternatives like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves.

How To Make a Brown Sugar Ham Glaze

Step 1

Gather your ingredients.

In a saucepot, combine all ingredients.

Step 2

Bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring to keep lumps from forming.

Step 3

Take the glaze off the burner.

Pour the glaze over ham as desired.

Brown Sugar Ham Glaze

Brown Sugar Ham Glaze

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 11 seconds
Total Time: 5 minutes 11 seconds

This sweet and slightly tangy brown sugar ham glaze is the perfect dinner addition.


  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp Allspice


  1. Gather your ingredients.
  2. In a saucepot, combine all ingredients.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil. 
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring to keep lumps from forming.
  5. Take the glaze off the burner.
  6. Pour the glaze over ham as desired.


If the glaze becomes too firm, you can reheat it before use. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 127Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 0gSugar: 33gProtein: 0g

Up Next: Brown Sugar Glazed Pork Chops

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