Orange Ham Glaze for Baked Ham

5 from 6 votes

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Upgrade your spiral ham with my orange ham glaze! It’s made with the usual suspects: orange juice, orange zest, and sugar. My secret? The added cinnamon and smoky chipotle powder!

close up of chipotle orange glazed ham

Ham holds a special place in my heart. I love it in ham and bean soup, it’s so tasty in these ham and cheese lasagna roll ups, and I can’t get enough of it in my special crustless spinach quiche with ham. It’s also one of those quintessential holiday foods that always finds its way to the table. It’s a staple at Christmas and Easter parties, and I’ve also seen it served on Thanksgiving for folks who don’t like turkey (I know — but to each their own, right?)

Speaking of large gatherings, I’m already thinking about what to serve for the holidays. I typically like to pick up a spiral ham — a pre-cooked and pre-cut piece of meat — and then I add a little something special to make it my own. That’s how I came up with today’s recipe: my orange ham glaze for baked ham!

overhead photo of spiral cut ham glazed with chipotle orange sauce


  • Spiral Cut Ham – I like to go for an 8-10 pound ham. It’s perfect for large groups — you won’t have to worry about there not being enough to go around.
  • Orange Juice – Most of the flavor in this ham glaze comes from orange juice! Use your favorite brand. 
  • Orange Zest – For even more added orange flavor.
  • Sugar – It wouldn’t be a true glaze without the addition of sugar. It cooks down with the rest of the ingredients to create a sort of syrup that you can pour over the meat.
  • Cornstarch – This thickening agent also takes on a certain sheen to whatever liquid you add it to. Perfect for a glaze!
  • Cinnamon – Spicy and warm, I love pairing cinnamon with savory ham.
  • Chipotle Powder – My secret ingredient! It’s smoky and earthy and gives my orange ham glaze a really unique flavor profile.
  • Dijon Mustard – Ham and mustard go together like…you know the drill! Dijon also brings on a bit of heat, balancing the other sweeter ingredients.
  • Red Pepper Flakes – I like to add just a pinch of red pepper flakes too.
  • Ground Clove – Similar to cinnamon, clove is spicy and warm.
  • Salt – To round out all of the other flavors!


  1. Prep The Ham. Take your ham out of the fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature for 2 hours. 
  2. Combine The Glaze Ingredients. Whisk together the orange juice, zest, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, ground close, red pepper flakes, chipotle powder, and Dijon mustard and place in a saucepan over high heat. Lower the heat to medium and allow to cook until your orange ham glaze thickens. Make sure to stir often! The glaze should turn a thick amber color. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Bake The Ham. Preheat your oven to 325° F. Unwrap the ham and pour the glaze over it, being sure to get into all of those nooks and crannies with a food-safe brush. Wrap the ham in aluminum foil and place it on a roasting rack over a pan filled with 2-3 cups of water. Allow the ham to bake for 1.5-2 hours, or until the internal temperature is 110°F.
  4. Baste, Re-Bake, & Serve. Remove the baked ham from the oven and turn the temperature up to 400°F. Baste it with the glaze once more, then place it back in the oven (uncovered) for 15 more minutes so that the outside caramelizes. Serve with your sides of choice and any extra orange ham glaze!
spiral cut ham getting brushed with glaze

Do You Put The Glaze On The Ham Before Or After You Bake It?

You should do a little bit of both! I like slathering on my glaze before I wrap the ham in aluminum foil for baking round 1. Then, I remove the ham, crank up the heat, baste it some more, and cook it uncovered for about 15 more minutes. The results are a perfectly caramelized outside and a perfectly tender inside.

What Can I Substitute For Orange Juice In Ham Glaze?

If you don’t have any OJ on hand or simply don’t want to use it, you can replace it with orange concentrate or orange extract combined with water. If you have an allergy and don’t want to use orange at all, you can always try replacing it with apple cider, pineapple juice, or even apple cider vinegar. 

Do You Cover Ham When Baking?

You should start by leaving your ham covered in aluminum foil. This helps keep it juicy! You can finish off the roasting process by removing the cover during the last 15 minutes. This will make the outside nice and crunchy.

fork pulling back sliced ham on platter

This recipe post, originally published on Kevin Is Cooking March, 2017, has been updated with new content, photos and/or video in October, 2022.

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close up of chipotle orange glazed ham

Orange Ham Glaze for Baked Ham

5 from 6 votes
Orange ham glaze for baked ham is made with orange juice, cinnamon, and smoky chipotle power. It pairs perfectly with tender spiral ham!
Servings: 10 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 2 hours 15 minutes
Total: 2 hours 25 minutes



  • Remove covered ham from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature 2 hours.
  • In a saucepan over high heat whisk together the orange juice, zest, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, ground clove, chipotle powder, red pepper flakes, and dijon mustard. Turn heat to medium and cook until thickened. Stir often. The sauce will be a thick amber. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Unwrap the ham and baste it all over with half the sauce. Get in all those nooks and crannies with the brush. Wrap it back up in enough aluminum foil to seal it and place on a roasting rack over 2-3 cups of water in a roasting pan.
  • Bake ham for 1.5-2 hours, or until the center registers 110°F, about 12 minutes per pound.
  • Remove ham from oven and turn oven temperature to 400°F.
  • Bast once more so the outside caramelizes for a crunchy exterior and in the oven it goes again uncovered for 15 minutes. Serve with any remaining sauce.


Calories: 745kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.7g | Protein: 68.1g | Fat: 35.2g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17.8g | Cholesterol: 232.7mg | Fiber: 5.7g | Sugar: 17.5g

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Dinner, Main
Cuisine: American, Western
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
Orange Ham Glaze for Baked Ham


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. Hello Kevin, I’m making the honey chipotle ham glaze. Can I substitute chipotle adobo sauce for the powdered chipotle? If so, how much?. Just discovered your site and am eager to try more of your recipes. Thanks, Elizabeth

    1. Hi Elizabeth! I went ahead and moved your comment for this recipe from my About page to the recipe itself in case other readers had the same question.
      I would use 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce myself to substitute for the chipotle powder. I know it may seem like a lot compared to the 1/2 tsp of powdered chipotle powder, but use what you think would be best. It’s the flavor here with a little heat and I think between the orange juice and sugar it would offset the sweetness. I haven’t tried it, but that would be a safe call for me. Use less if you feel it’s too much. Thanks too for giving this a try.
      Please come back and let me know – you can hit the REPLY link to eave a comment to this thread. Cheers and have a wonderful holiday dinner.

  2. 5 stars
    Okay Kevin, I’m going to totally turn this recipe on its head so tell me what you think… I have to make my ham in the slow cooker tomorrow because I need the room in my oven for other things AND I didn’t buy a spiral cut ham since they kind of dry out in the slow cooker (at least for me). I still want the flavors of this recipe so do you think I could modify this to cook in the slow cooker and then maybe make extra glaze to brush over at the end and then place in the oven to caramelize a bit? Kevin is Cooking pretty much needs to make an appearance at every special dinner around here. 😀
    p.s. Your videos are killer and I can’t hit “Post Comment” yet because I’m wanting to watch all the great videos.

    1. You always say the sweetest things Sally. Thanks so much. I think your idea is spot on myself. And trust me, make extra sauce, this stuff is so good!
      Have a wonderful holiday dinner and hello to the family!

    1. Hi Gaila! It’s been a while. It has been SO CRAZY BUSY here. Apologies for not stopping by. Always nice to read you comments and see your smiling face. Cheers to a fantastic holiday.

  3. That sounds like a delicious combination of flavors. You caught me at the right time! I’m planning to make a ham Easter.

  4. 5 stars
    This glaze sounds incredible – sticky, spicy goodness! We’re not really ham eaters, but I could totally see this glaze on other cuts of pork or even chicken!

  5. 5 stars
    5 star rating, no question. The recipe sounds so good, and your pictures are just amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  6. This looks perfect for Easter! I’m always trying to change up the glaze I make from year to year Kevin! I’ll need to give your recipe a try! I know anything coming from your kitchen is going to be awesome!

    1. Awe, thanks so much MaryAnn. I love a dinner that provides a few residual meals the following days, too. The bits and pieces on the edges are basically meat candy! 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    Holy smokes, Kevin!!! Seriously, I don’t even eat ham but THIS ham looks amazing! That caramelized crust looks just perfect! The husband has been trying to convince me to make him ham this year.. and he promised me he would eat the entire thing himself If I made it. I’m thinking if I made this beauty, he would ABSOLUTELY eat the whole dang thang! I mean, WOW. You knocked this out of the park buddy!!!! Pinned! Cheers!

    1. Thanks Chey, it was and still gave a few delicious meals! The leftovers (and upcoming recipe) were great. I think Boy deserves this, too. 😉

  8. Oh, this glaze sounds incredible! I can only imagine how good your house smelled when this one was in the oven. And I bet this one made for some pretty epic ham sammiches, too! 🙂

    1. We made sammiches and another recipe I’ll be posting soon. The edges seemed almost like candy as I picked at it to slice a piece off the next day. So good! 🙂

  9. OMG! Yes! That glaze, Kevin!! What?! How freakin’ delicious does that sound (and look). You know I am loving the chipotle touch!!
    I love ham hot or cold and if it’s cold, then it’s with Dijon mustard for dunkin’. Pinning this deliciousness and hopefully it’ll make it soon to our table. Definitely perfect for Easter! Happy Monday, my friend. Have a great week!

    1. Citrus and spicy all slathered over that beautiful ham…. it really is a win win and the leftovers are pretty special too. Thanks Dawn!