Raisin Sauce for Baked Ham

ham slice with raisin sauce
Diana Rattray
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
111 Calories
0g Fat
29g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 111
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 7mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 23g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 168mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Raisin sauce with baked ham is a tradition in many families, and you might have fond memories of the sauce with an Easter or Christmas dinner. The sweet and sour supporting ingredients of brown sugar, vinegar, and lemon juice complement the raisins and make for a delicious sauce that is perfect spooned over a slice of baked ham.

But there's no need to wait until the holidays; you can serve the sauce with ham steak, leftover ham, sliced pork roast, or pork chops for a tasty everyday meal. It's ready in 15 minutes, and can be made right when the ham is about to come out of the oven or while the ham rests before carving. Or prepare the sauce up to one day in advance—just cool off, refrigerate, and reheat until hot and bubbly when needed.


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or wine vinegar

  • 1 cup raisins

  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 1/2 cups water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    gather the ingredients
    Diana Rattray
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, cornstarch, and dry mustard; whisk to blend the dry ingredients thoroughly.

    Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and mustard.
    Diana Rattray
  3. Place the pan over medium heat and gradually add the vinegar, raisins, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add the water to the mixture, stirring constantly until all of the ingredients are well combined.

    Add the wet ingredients including water.
    Diana Rattray
  4. Keep stirring until everything is thoroughly blended.

    Stir the mixture over medium heat.
    Diana Rattray
  5. Continue cooking the raisin sauce over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thick, clear, and bubbly, for at least 10 minutes.

    Cook the raisin sauce until it is clear and bubbling.
    Diana Rattray
  6. Serve the raisin sauce warm, with sliced ham or other pork dishes, and enjoy.

Tips for Juicing a Lemon

  • A cold lemon can be difficult to juice. Take it out of the refrigerator ahead of time to come to room temperature. If you need it right away, put the lemon in the microwave and cook on 100 percent power for about 20 seconds.
  • Roll the lemon back and forth on the counter while applying slight pressure with the palm of your hand.
  • Use a citrus juicer to get the most juice (and no seeds) out of the lemon.

Spice Up Your Raisin Sauce

To add some new flavors and texture to your sauce, follow one of our suggestions:

  • Buttery Sauce: For extra flavor and some shine, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter to the sauce as soon as it is removed from the heat. Stir until the butter has melted.
  • Citrus Flavor: Replace 1/2 cup of the water with orange or grapefruit juice.
  • Apple-Raisin: Sauté 1/2 to 1 cup of diced apple in a small amount of butter until just tender. Replace half of the water with apple juice or cider and add the diced apple to the sauce along with the raisins.
  • Spiced Raisin: Add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger, and a dash of cloves to the sauce.
  • Pineapple-Raisin: Reduce the water to 1 cup and add 1 (8-ounce) can (undrained) crushed pineapple along with the raisins.
  • Rum-Raisin: Stir in 1 teaspoon of rum extract as soon as the sauce is removed from the heat.

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