Raisin Sauce for Ham – Spend With Pennies

Easter dinner always means a baked ham on our table!

Homemade Raisin Sauce for Ham is a classic sauce, sweet and citrusy. It’s perfect served with ham!

With aromatic cloves and orange zest, this raisin sauce balances out the saltiness of the ham. Serve over slices for a great holiday ham.

Raisin sauce in a serving dish


An Easy Sauce for Ham

A holiday ham is always on the table for Easter and Christmas. We love to serve it with mustard and a sweet raisin sauce on the side.

  • Made in minutes in one pan, this sauce is ready to go for serving over ham, whether it be in the crockpot, in the air fryer, or on glazed ham steaks.
  • Raisin sauce is a timesaving superstar that can even be made ahead and then just reheated on the stove or microwave!
  • Not only is this sauce made for ham it is a super versatile sauce that goes with any kind of protein, from chicken breasts to pork loin or pork tenderloin. Or use it as a glaze for these delicious roasted game hens!

Ingredients & Variations

SAUCE Brown sugar is cooked down with apple cider vinegar and cloves. Stir in some brandy, bourbon, whiskey, or rum (don’t worry, the alcohol burns off)! Add rum extract for a delicious rum raisin sauce to serve over homemade ice cream or a classic pound cake.

SEASONINGS Cloves are fragrant and a little spicy, whole anise and cardamom are also good substitutions for the cloves if desired. Always use fresh spices to get the best flavor profile for any sauce.

ADD-INS Raisins can be the purple or yellow variety. Currents, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, and finely diced pears can be switched out or added to the sauce.

Recipe Tip: Be sure to count your cloves as you add them to you can ensure they’re removed. The color can blend with the raisins a bit so knowing how many ensures nobody gets a spicy bite!

Two images showing the steps to prepare Raisin Sauce

How to Make Raisin Sauce

Simmer this raisin sauce and use it to make the best glaze for ham or other meat dishes.

  1. Simmer the sauce ingredients per the recipe below.
  2. Add raisins & orange zest and simmer.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in butter & salt.
  4. Discard cloves & serve warm.

Raisin sauce mixture being prepared in a pan


  • Fresh zest is best! And for a more citrusy flavor, switch out the water for orange juice from the zested orange.
  • Raisin sauce will keep in the refrigerator in a cruet or jar for up to 7 days.

More Ways to Use Raisin Sauce

Did you enjoy this Raisin Sauce for Ham recipe? Let us know in a comment below! 

Raisin Sauce for Ham

Cook Time 10 minutes

Total Time 10 minutes

Servings 6

This sweet sauce makes the perfect glaze for ham or other meat dishes like pork.

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  • Combine water, brown sugar, cornstarch, vinegar, and cloves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat while whisking.

  • Add raisins and orange zest, reduce heat to a simmer (medium low) and let cook 5 minutes.

  • Remove from the heat and stir in butter and salt. Remove and discard cloves.

  • Serve warm over ham.

Optional: add 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard to the sauce
If desired, rum, brandy or whiskey can be added.
Serve over ham or over pound cake or ice cream.

Calories: 146, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 28mg, Potassium: 178mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 60IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 1mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Sauce

Cuisine American

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Raisin sauce for Ham in a serving dish with a title
Top image - raisin sauce in a serving dish. Bottom image - raisin sauce being prepared in a pan with a title

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