There are few things more beautiful than a perfectly prepared Ham with a Honey Glaze sitting on a dinner table. With the addition of whole cloves, this ham is elevated to a new, elegant level, that will leave family and friends in awe! If you happen to want a simpler version, try my Crock Pot Ham. Don’t forget the Roasted Carrots and Mashed Potatoes when creating your epic feast!

Overhead Image of Glazed Ham with Cloves
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Honey Glazed Ham

This recipe is crazy easy but really packs a punch with flavor and presentation. We opted to use whole cloves pressed into the top of the ham and this really gives the ham a “wow” factor, in addition to a fantastic and unique flavor. And as an added bonus, there are only five ingredients!

Cutting Into Honey Glazed Ham

Honey Glazed Ham Ingredients

Ham: I opted for a shank cut (the leg). The shank end is what most holiday hams are, so it’s a good choice if you want a beautiful presentation. The meat tends to be fattier and it has one long bone, which makes carving easier. A butt-end is a bit leaner but has a T-bone in it which can be hard to cut around. (But perfect for broths and soups!) Our ham was not spiral-sliced which means we will carve it ourselves. If you do not want to carve your ham, you can use a spiral-sliced.

Cloves: I love using the whole cloves because they add a beautiful flavor and can be easily removed from each piece. (I don’t eat the clove itself.)

Honey: As far as honey, I love using locally sourced honey, as I love to support local beekeepers and their positive effects on the environment. In a pinch, I will use store-bought honey and it will work just fine.

Raw Ham Being Glazed with Pastry Brush

Tips for Baking the Best Ham

  • Place your ham face-down into a foil or parchment-lined pan. (Just makes for easier cleanup!) Beyond that key tip, there are a couple of different things that you can do to make sure your ham comes out perfect every time.
  • Make sure you know your oven. We know we have a hot spot in the left-back corner, so I make sure I rotate my ham at least once while baking. I also have a thermometer that lives inside my oven and shows me accurate temperatures. And yes, it does vary from what the oven says it is at! Baking ham too hot can lead to a dry ham and you do NOT want a dry ham.
  • Have a basting brush on hand. This really is the best tool to use and there aren’t many alternatives that can cover as well. I prefer the silicone brush as I find that natural bristle brushes tend to “shed” and leave bristles on my food.
Ham Honey with Carrots on a White Plate

How to Score a Ham

The main things you will want to know are how many lines to create when scoring and how deep to cut. We prefer more cloves, so did a “tight” score, slicing through the meat about every inch. However, you could also do a larger grid pattern by making a diagonal slice through the same every couple of inches. Start on the side and slice all the way along the ham length-wise. Make sure your knife is sharp. I also prefer a longer blade.

The first time I scored a ham I cut about an inch deep. My thought process was that the glaze would have more opportunity to seem into the cracks and the ham would be even moister. This was not the case! I recommend only cutting about 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch deep.

honey baked ham with cloves
5 from 3 votes

Honey Glazed Ham

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Easy Glazed Ham with a wonderful infusion of cloves. 


  • 5 pound ham shank, pre-cooked
  • ¼ cup (25.2 g) whole cloves*
  • ¼ cup (50 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups (680 g) honey
  • cup (151 g) unsalted butter


  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Score ham, and stud with the whole cloves. Place ham in a large foil-lined pan.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the brown sugar, honey, and butter. Keep glaze warm while baking the ham. (You can add more honey if desired.)
  • Carefully brush glaze over ham. Tent the ham with foil.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, basting the ham every 10 to 15 minutes with the honey glaze. (Be careful to pull the rack out fully so you don't have to reach into a hot oven.) I left one side of the foil less secured so that I could easily pull it back for basting.
  • During the last 4-5 minutes of baking, remove the foil and turn the oven to the broil setting to caramelize the glaze. (The internal temperature should be 140°F.)
  • Remove from the oven and allow to rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.


*You can use as little as 1 tablespoon of cloves. Some folks also omit them entirely. 

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Dear Amanda… your recipes look delicious but since you are on the World Stage, it’s important that you take a few minutes more in the publishing phase and list Metric measurements alongside those you are used to using. Many of us use recipes such as yours both for inspiration and to save time. Your few extra minutes will save all of us in the long term and keep us coming back to your site. Cheers.

  2. I always COUNT the cloves when I remove them, so I can be certain no one bites into one or swallows them.

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