4/7/2022 | By Meghan Splawn

Do you have ham on your Easter menu? Of course you do! Ham is one of the essential centerpieces for a holiday table full of asparagus, glazed carrots, and brightly colored Easter eggs. What we think of as “Easter ham” is actually a spiral-cut city ham and many of them are sold packaged with their own glaze. But you can – and should – make your own brown sugar glaze for your city ham. The basic five-ingredient glaze can be used on ham, chicken, or pork chops, too.

This glaze isn’t sugary-sweet, but the most delicious balance of brown sugar, honey, Dijon, and just a splash of vinegar. It will transform your Easter ham from basic to the most-talked-about dish at your celebration.

How to use this brown sugar glaze

Brown sugar glaze is most ideal for a ham you to plan to warm in the oven. Most city hams should be reheated in a 275 degree to 350 degree F oven for 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours depending on its size. You’ll start the ham covered in the oven and then add the glaze during the second half of cooking. The glaze is cooked down before it goes on the ham, but it will continue to thicken as it mingles with the ham’s juices.

A cheat sheet for city ham cooking

  • At 275 F: Bake for 20 minutes per pound (about 2 to 2 ½ hours total)
  • At 350 F: Bake for 10 minutes per pound (about 1 to 1 ½ hours total)
  • The ham is ready when it has reached an internal temperature of 120 F to 140 F.

Related: Springtime Roasted Rhubarb Clafoutis makes a perfect Easter dessert

Easy Brown Sugar Glaze for Easter Ham

Makes enough glaze for 10- to 12-pound ham (about 2 cups)


  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


  1. While the ham is heating in the oven, place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring regularly to break up any lumps. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer slowly until reduced by a third, darkened, and thickened, about 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the ham from the oven, uncover, and baste with the warm brown sugar honey glaze, working the sauce between the cuts in the ham wherever possible. Return the ham to the oven for the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Recipe notes

The brown sugar glaze can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to five days, making Easter dinner even easier. Rewarm over low heat until it reaches a simmer before using.

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Meghan Splawn

Meghan Splawn is a contributor to, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to