Raisin Sauce for Baked Ham

ham slice with raisin sauce
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
242 Calories
0g Fat
63g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 242
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 32mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 63g 23%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Protein 1g
Calcium 51mg 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 are classics, and either apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or wine vinegar makes an equally delicious sauce. See the recipe variations for more ideas.

Serve the sauce with ham steak, leftover ham, sliced pork roast, or pork chops for a tasty everyday meal; there's no need to wait until the holidays so make any weeknight meal special by cooking our recipe. This raisin sauce can be made up to one day in advance – prepare the sauce as directed, cool off, refrigerate, and reheat until hot and bubbly when needed.

It's ready in 15 minutes, so make the sauce right about when your ham is about to come out of the oven; while the ham rests before carving it, you can finish up this easy sauce and keep it warm until it's time to serve.


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest (finely grated)
  • 2 tablespoons 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; stir to blend the dry mixture 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 ingredients are well combined.

    Add the wet ingredients including water.
    Diana Rattray
  4. Keep stirring until all of the ingredients are 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 pork dishes.

  7. Enjoy!

Juice-a-Lemon Trick

A lemon taken straight out of the fridge can be difficult to juice:

  • Before zesting and juicing the lemon, put it in the microwave and cook on 100% power for about 20 seconds.
  • Zest the softened lemon and then extract the juice.

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: Sauteé 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 one 8-ounce can (undrained) of 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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