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3-Ingredient Ham Glaze

This 3-ingredient ham glaze is incredibly tasty. It’s quick, easy to make, and adds a burst of flavor to your ham, making it a simple and delicious choice for any occasion.

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close up of ham glaze in a mason jar

This is the best homemade ham glaze! With just three simple ingredients, you can make a delicious sauce — even without orange juice!

Imagine a sweet and slightly tangy glaze that caramelizes the ham as it bakes, creating a mouthwatering, shiny exterior. The brown sugar brings irresistible sweetness, while the root beer adds a unique twist of flavor that’s to die for.

This easy ham glaze is versatile, too. It’s not just for holiday feasts; it’s a go-to for any occasion that calls for a pre-cooked ham. 

We are big ham lovers in our house as you can tell with my ham gravy and even pineapple sauce for ham. I’ve even cooked a ham in the air fryer and frozen ham in the Instant Pot when I forgot to defrost it!

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From Sunday family dinners to backyard barbecues, it pairs beautifully with your favorite sides, making every meal feel like a celebration.

What makes it even better is how easy it is to prepare. No need for complicated steps or hard-to-find ingredients.

Just mix, glaze, and let the oven work its magic!

ingredients needed for ham glaze

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Brown sugar: I recommend light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar can be substituted.
  • Butter: Gives the ham that creamy flavor
  • Root Beer: Root beer gives the glaze a sweet flavor with hints of vanilla and wintergreen.

How to Make Easy Ham Glaze with Brown Sugar

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, and root beer. 

adding butter, brown sugar and root beer in a pot.

STEP TWO: Let it come to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the easy ham glaze simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally until it thickens into a syrupy consistency.

ingredients boiled down into a syrup

STEP THREE: Brush half of the glaze onto your ham. Cover the ham with foil and bake at 350 degrees F, allowing 15 minutes of cooking time for each pound.

brushing on ham glaze

STEP FOUR: At the halfway mark (around 45 minutes for a 5.5lb ham), increase the heat to 375 degrees F. Brush the ham with the glaze two to three more times while it continues to cook.

adding on another layer of ham glaze

STEP FIVE: Your ham is ready when it becomes nicely caramelized, turns a lovely brown, and reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees F. Enjoy your deliciously glazed ham!

What to Serve With 3-Ingredient Ham Glaze

Once you’ve got the glazed ham baking in the oven, whip up some classic cornbread stuffing, creamy mac and cheese, and green bean casserole to serve alongside it.

It also pairs nice with sweet potato casserole, green beans and bacon, and butternut squash.

Variations for this Easy Ham Glaze

  • For a lower sugar option of this delicious 3-ingredient ham glaze, try zero-sugar root beer. It tastes almost exactly the same! 
  • Add some pineapple juice for a more sweet and tangy flavor
  • Add a little ketchup and mustard for some zing!
  • If you don’t have brown sugar, you can make your own by blending white sugar with molasses. This DIY light brown sugar recipe calls for 1 cup of granulated white sugar combined with 1 tablespoon of molasses. If aiming for dark brown sugar, use 2 tablespoons of molasses instead.

More 3 Ingredient Recipes 

How Can I Store Leftover Glazed Ham?

Storing your deliciously glazed ham is just as easy as making the glaze! 

All you need to do is grab an airtight container or aluminum foil and put it in the fridge, making sure the ham is fully covered. It will stay good for up to 5 days.

For an easy reheating method for your ham, check out the instructions for our perfectly cooked air fryer ham. You can even reheat ham slices in there too!

Should I Use Dark or Light Brown Sugar for Ham Glaze?

Both dark and light brown sugar work great for this 3-ingredient ham glaze, so it’s really up to you and your preferences. 

The difference between the two is the amount of molasses — dark brown sugar has a higher molasses content, providing a richer caramel flavor. 

Personally, I prefer to use light brown sugar for this easy ham glaze recipe. Since root beer is another sweet ingredient, I don’t feel the need to use the sweeter version of brown sugar. 

using a pastry brush do brush glaze on honey ham

Can I Make This Easy Ham Glaze with Brown Sugar Ahead of Time?

Of course! If you’re planning on preparing your ham dish early, I’d recommend making the glaze, storing it in the fridge, and then basting and baking the ham close to when you plan on serving it. 

If you’re storing the glaze by itself, make sure it’s in an airtight container and placed in the fridge.

Your glaze should stay delicious for 5-7 days — just give it a stir before using the glaze on your ham.

Other Ways to Use Ham

using a pastry brush do brush glaze on honey ham

3-Ingredient Ham Glaze

Samantha Erb
This 3-ingredient ham glaze is a simple yet delicious way to add to your ham's flavor. Composed of brown sugar, butter, and root beer, this glaze caramelizes beautifully on the ham, creating a wonderfully appealing crust.
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sauces & Dips
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 169 kcal


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup root beer


  • In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, bring the brown sugar, butter, and root beer to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened and syrupy.
  • Brush half of the glaze onto your ham.
  • Cover the ham with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes per pound. After half of the cooking time (45 minutes for a ~5.5lb ham), turn the heat up to 375 degrees F.
  • Brush the ham with the glaze 2 to 3 more times during the remaining cooking time. Ham is ready when it is nicely caramelized, browned, and 140F internally.


Serving: 1gCalories: 169kcalCarbohydrates: 24gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 10mgSugar: 24g
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About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

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