The Best Brown Sugar Crusted Kentucky Spiral Ham

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Our favorite ham is this brown sugar-crusted Kentucky spiral ham that is easy to make, feeds a small crowd, and is absolutely delicious.

brown sugar glazed ham

A great ham for the holidays or parties.

This brown sugar-crusted Kentucky spiral ham is easy, delicious, and perfect for holidays or parties. It is small but can feed a crowd as an entree with sides or it can be used for sliders when tucked inside cheese biscuits, bakery rolls, or croissants. This ham is always a hit when I serve it to family and friends. The meat is perfectly sliced and loaded with flavor from a sweet & spicy glazed crust and pan juices.

Can I prepare this ham beforehand?

Absolutely! This ham is super easy to prepare beforehand. Once you make it, you can just store it in the fridge in an airtight container. This makes it super easy to serve without having to make it that same day. The ham doesn’t need to be served warmed and is just as delicious straight from the fridge.

What is the best brand of spiral ham?

My favorite smaller spiral ham is Kentucky Legend. It is hands down the best, in my opinion. For larger spiral sliced hams, I love the ones sold at Costco every year during the holiday season.  Below is a photo of the Kentucky Legend that I buy, followed by a short video showing the exact specifications to follow when shopping for this ham.

brown sugar glazed ham


How long does it take to cook?

Since this ham is already cooked through, the baking is really only needed to set the glaze into the ham. After heating the ham for two hours, let it bake at 350 degrees uncovered until the crust forms. Doing this makes a delicious crust that perfectly compliments the ham. 

Do you glaze a ham before or after baking?

You should glaze the ham before baking! Since the ham is already cooked, you don’t need to cook it before glazing. Cooking it after glazing will ensure that the glaze gets perfectly hardened so that you have a delicious crust on your ham! You will want to just have the glaze first, and cook the ham covered. Then, baste the ham with the rest of the glaze. After that, you are going to cook the ham uncovered for about 10 minutes so that the glaze can harden and create that delicious crust.

What ingredients do I use to make brown sugar-crusted ham?

This recipe starts off with a fully cooked ham, all that you need is the ingredients to make the brown sugar glaze on top of the ham. The glaze is sweet and is the perfect complement to the ham. I used brown sugar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, garlic, and some spices to create this delicious glaze.

Is the brown sugar crust really necessary on the ham?

I absolutely LOVE this ham by itself, but this glaze adds some extra flavor that you will be so impressed with. Not only does it add so much flavor, but it is so easy to do! It is just a few simple steps to bring the ham to a whole other level. Once you try it, you won’t be able to go back.

How to get a brown sugar crust on ham:

To get a crusty, glazed exterior on this ham, you’ll need to do a few things. At the end of baking, remove the ham and brush it with the remaining pan juices and reserved syrup.  Increase the oven temp to 350 degrees F, and bake uncovered for 10 minutes (or until glaze forms). You could also use a kitchen torch to glaze the ham.

How long does it take to cook a pre-cooked spiral ham?

It takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to cook the ham, plus an additional 10 minutes to cook uncovered and harden the glaze. The size of the ham depends on how long you cook it. For example, if you have a larger ham, I would recommend cooking it for closer to two hours. After cooking uncovered for 10 minutes, let the ham rest for another 10 before serving.

Should spiral ham be cooked uncovered or covered?

As I noted earlier, you should cook the ham covered at first, then uncover it to baste and finally, uncover and cook for 10 additional minutes. Leaving it uncovered for those last 10 minutes is what helps the crust to form. However, make sure that for the majority of the cooking time, the ham is covered. If you don’t do this, the ham might dry out and not have the texture you want!

What sides go best with glazed ham?

I have tried a lot of recipes with this brown sugar-glazed ham and these are some of my favorites!


brown sugar glazed ham

What do I do with leftover ham?

For lunch, this ham tastes great on croissants or Hawaiian rolls with Swiss cheese and honey mustard. For breakfast, any leftover slices will make a wonderful ham biscuit or an excellent foundation for a quiche or breakfast casserole. This recipe is also perfect for holidays to pair with some other holiday food. 

I do hope your family enjoys this recipe. If you try it, please let me hear your thoughts. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

brown sugar glazed ham

Brown Sugar Maple Glazed Spiral Ham

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

An easy and delicious spiral sliced ham with a sugary glaze.


  • 1 (6- to 7-pound) ham (fully cooked, spiral sliced)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves (ground)
  • 1/3 teaspoon allspice
  • pineapple bits (optional)



  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  2. Place ham on a baking dish.
  3. Pour half of the glaze (see recipe below) over ham and in between the spiral slices.
  4. Cover ham snugly with foil.
  5. Heat for 1.5 to 2 hours (2 hours for larger ham)
  6. Open foil or bag and roll down to expose ham.
  7. Baste ham with remaining glaze.
  8. Increase oven temp to 350 degrees.
  9. Put ham, uncovered, into oven.
  10. Bake until glaze forms~about 10 minutes.
  11. Remove ham from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  12. Insert pineapple tidbits in between spirals (optional).


  1. Place brown sugar, maple syrup, and spices in small saucepan.
  2. Heat on medium-low until sugar dissolves.
  3. Remove glaze from heat.
  4. Remove 1/2 cup of glaze and set aside (for basting at the end).
Nutrition Information
Yield 14 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 85Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 92mgCarbohydrates 22gNet Carbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 20gSugar Alcohols 0gProtein 0g

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  1. Oh Megan, I’ve missed the deadline so you’ve probably made the ham!! I will say, I would likely triple the glaze and maybe cook 3 hours. I’d love to hear what you did and how it turned out!!

  2. I make this every year. I’m making it again Saturday, but my MIL gave us a 14 lb ham!! how do I need to edit the glaze for it and do I still just cook 2 hrs?

  3. So, I make this every year. I’m making it again Saturday, but my MIL gave us a 30 lb ham!! how do I need to edit the glaze for it and do I still just cook 2 hrs?

  4. Hi Kathleen, I apologize for the confusion. My test kitchen revised the recipe to 1) heat the glaze ingredients until sugar dissolves and 2) bake at 350 F until the glaze caramelized. I made the edits (but the video is still the same). I hope you enjoy the ham!!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  5. Questions:
    * In the video I saw (in another post) of you preparing the glaze, you simply stirred the ingredients together, stating that it was not necessary to heat the glaze ingredients before applying it to the sliced ham. But in the printed recipe, you direct us to put the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Which works best?
    * The printed recipe states to caramelize the glaze on the baked ham for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Yet the text in this post states that we are to put the baked & glazed ham on the top rack of a 475 F oven until the glaze caramelizes. Which is it??

  6. Thank you for this fantastic suggestion. I will try it on just regular hamburger buns with swiss cheese and yellow mustard. Walmart has the Kentucky Legend brand and that’s where I’ll get it. Thanks again.

  7. omg.. this is the best online recipe ever. super easy very flavorful and a new family favorite. thank u so much made my Christmas

  8. This looks delicious! Planning on using this recipe Christmas Day. So I was in a rush and stupidly purchased an 11 lb ham for 4 people… should I triple the ingredients for the glaze?

  9. I’m trying our how long this ham and the smoked spiral cut both fully cooked will keep in the refrigerator? I think I have kept it over a week, but can’t remember for sure.

  10. Thanks so much for sharing this info, Kate!!! I knew Wal-Mart carried it but had no idea that Aldi’s carried it too. So glad you let us know. Blessings to you and yours for 2017!!

  11. Love it, I found it first at Aldi’s Ithaca NY and then again at Walmart Ithaca NY for the same price. I just bought some more again tonight at Walmart for my Mom. I was telling her how good it was. She asked me to pick her up some when I saw it next time. Worth every penny!!!

  12. That’s great, Kate!!! So glad you found it! Do you mind sharing where you found yours? Some readers are telling me they can’t find the brand in their local stores…….

  13. I just found this spiral ham at one of our local store and LOVED it. I ran right out to get some more!!! Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner, just melt in your mouth Delicious!!! Thank-you!!!

  14. I cooked this for a church and all smiles were brought upon many faces. I cooked two and it was super quick. It fed lots of my family and the church! Thanks for this recipe!

  15. I made one of these for Christmas Eve. Had an open house- 30 people. I put a pepper jelly on it before reheating.
    It was the best ham anyone has ever had!
    Using the leftovers to make pea soup.

  16. I was lost trying to think of a different style of spiral ham and this will bring more visitors to my home! Thanks!

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