Brown Sugar Spiral Ham

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Brown Sugar Spiral Ham is a holiday favorite that's glazed with brown sugar, maple syrup, mustard, apple cider and warm spices. It's the perfect main dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter dinner...and every day in between!

spiral ham sliced on a wooden board.
Jump To

Why You'll Love It

  • a spiral cut ham is an easy way to serve a holiday meal
  • the brown sugar ham glaze recipe is lip smacking good!
  • leftover ham recipes are a great way to stretch your food budget

Recipe Highlights

Do you have a beloved dish that's a holiday tradition? Our whole family loves this Brown Sugar Spiral Ham recipe. If hams could talk, they'd scold us for how many times we've stolen a bite before dinner was served!

A spiral-cut ham is really easy to fix, and will be the star centerpiece at your holiday dinners. Serve it with sides such as Lemon Butter Asparagus and Homestyle Mac and Cheese for a simple meal.

The brown sugar ham glaze makes a difference in the taste of this recipe and is so much better than a pre-packaged glaze packet! Warm cinnamon and cloves mingle with apple cider, brown sugar, oranges and maple syrup to create a sweet glaze you'll want to eat by the spoonful!

sliced ham on a cutting board.

Ingredients

Spiral hams are delicious with or without glaze, but if you're going to serve one, why not make it the best you've ever tasted? This recipe is loaded with amazing flavor that enhances the taste of your Easter or Christmas ham.

  • spiral ham - choose bone in or boneless that is fully cooked
  • brown sugar - the base for this delicious glaze
  • maple syrup - adds flavor and thickness
  • stone ground mustard - provides the savory component
  • apple cider - goes well with maple syrup and brown sugar
  • juice from an orange - adds a twist of citrus
  • zest from an orange - enhances the glaze
  • ground cinnamon - gives this recipe its depth
  • ground cloves - warms everything up
  • minced garlic - balances out the sweetness
  • cornstarch and water - thickens the glaze to the right consistency

See quantities in recipe card.

ingredients needed for brown sugar ham glaze.

How to Cook a Spiral Ham

This is a fully cooked ham recipe, which means it's ready to serve without doing another thing. Baking a spiral ham can dry it out and cause it to lose flavor. Resist the urge to crank up the oven!

Honey Baked Ham Company recommends you let the ham sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Afterwards, slather it with glaze which provides all the warmth it needs. It's juicy, savory and delicious!

If you prefer to warm it up, set the oven to 200 degrees F. Wrap ham in aluminum foil and place it in a large baking dish or roasting pan.

Place it in the oven for 10 minutes per pound. That's 1 hour for a 6 pound ham, which feeds 8 to 12 people. Apply glaze after it comes out of the oven.

brown sugar glaze in a skillet.

How to Make Brown Sugar Ham Glaze

This brown sugar glaze is both sweet and savory, which perfectly compliments the flavor of a tender ham.

Add brown sugar and maple syrup to a skillet or pot on the stove. Blend in the apple cider, orange juice, zest, mustard, garlic, cinnamon and cloves. Stir constantly for 3 minutes over medium heat until brown sugar is melted.

Mix cornstarch and water together, then add to the glaze to thicken it further. Cook for 1 more minute, then let glaze cool slightly before applying to ham with a brush or drizzle on top.

Adding a Fruit Garnish

Want to dress up your store bought ham for a special occasion? Use apples, lemons, limes and oranges to make your ham 'pop'! Tuck in some greenery and place everything on a wooden cutting board for a natural look.

It only takes a few minutes to make a beautiful centerpiece with food. Colorful fruit is your best friend when decorating. Plus...it's totally edible!

ham surrounded by lemons, oranges, apples and limes.

Recipe FAQs

When should I glaze the ham?

It's best to glaze the ham after it sits at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Use a brush to apply warm glaze to the top and inside of the ham, then provide extra glaze for serving.

Can I substitute pineapple juice for apple cider?

Sure! Orange or pineapple juice is a good substitution. I like using apple cider because it goes well with maple syrup and brown sugar.

What if I don't have coarse ground mustard?

You can always use yellow or dijon mustard instead of stone ground. However, you won't see the coarse mustard on the surface of the ham if you switch types.

ham with fruit on a wooden board.

Storage and Freezing

  • If desired, make the glaze up to three days in advance and store in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stove when it's time to serve.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 6 months. To thaw, leave in the refrigerator overnight. Warm in the microwave for best results.

What to Serve with Spiral Ham

If you're lucky, you'll have leftovers which is a very good thing! Add chopped ham to a Meat Lovers Quiche for a real treat! Be sure to save the ham bone for a big pot of Yellow Eye Beans which tastes amazing with a cake of Southern Cornbread!

Every main dish needs great sides to make a perfect meal. The recipes below pair well with Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner when served with a spiral-sliced ham.

Recipe Card

spiral ham glazed with brown sugar and mustard on a cutting board with fruit.

Brown Sugar Spiral Ham

Brown Sugar Spiral Ham is a holiday favorite that's glazed with brown sugar, maple syrup, mustard, apple cider and warm spices.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 462kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Ingredients

  • 6 pound spiral ham feeds 8 to 12 people
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coarse ground mustard
  • 1 cup apple cider or water
  • 2 Tablespoons juice from an orange
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest from rind
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 Tablespoons of water

Instructions

SPIRAL HAM

  • Remove ham from packaging and place on a serving dish or platter.
  • Let ham rest for 30 minutes, then brush with warm glaze (below).
  • If you prefer to warm it up, wrap ham in aluminum foil and place in a 200 degree oven.
  • Warm ham for 10 minutes per pound. Brush with glaze after removing from oven.

BROWN SUGAR GLAZE

  • Add brown sugar and maple syrup to a skillet or pot on the stove. 
  • Stir in ground mustard, apple cider, orange juice, orange zest, cinnamon, cloves and minced garlic.
  • Cook for 3 minutes over medium heat until brown sugar melts. 
  • Mix cornstarch with water and add to mixture. Cook 1 more minute until glaze thickens. 
  • Brush warm glaze over the top and insides of ham.
  • Serve the rest of the glaze on the side in a small bowl. 

Notes

  • If desired, make the glaze up to three days in advance and store in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stove when it's time to glaze the ham.
  • Leftover ham can be stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 6 weeks. To thaw, leave in the refrigerator overnight.

Nutrition

Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 2686mg | Potassium: 728mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin C: 55mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

Love this recipe? PIN it!Visit @quichemygrits or tag #quichemygrits!

Sharing is Caring! If you love my recipes, please SHARE with friends!

10 Comments

  1. This recipe lets the flavor of the ham come through. Most are too thick and cover up flavors but this is perfect!!!!

  2. 5 stars
    This looks so tasty! I am pairing it with your pineapple casserole for a full Quiche My Grits recipe experience 🙂

Leave a Review

Your email address will not be published.

Please RATE this RECIPE: