Rita's Sweet Holiday Baked Ham Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Rita's Sweet Holiday Baked Ham Recipe

Rita's Sweet Holiday Baked Ham

Recipe by  

"This is my mom's holiday ham recipe. She would cook this easy recipe on my birthday. Made with maraschino cherries, sliced pineapples, brown sugar, honey and much more yummy ingredients. You'll love this ham dinner, and it's not just for the holidays, but great any time of year!"

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Original recipe makes 24 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    2 hrs

    2 hrs 20 mins


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the maple syrup, orange juice, ginger ale, brown sugar and honey. Stir in the juice from the maraschino cherries, and half of the cherries. Score the outer edge of the ham with a sharp knife in a diamond pattern. Cuts should be about 1/4 inch deep. This will allow the ham to soak up the juice.
  3. Place the ham into an oven bag, and carefully pour the juice mixture over it, keeping all of the juice in the bag. It may look like there is too much juice, but the ham will soak it up while baking. Place the pineapples onto the top of the ham, and secure with toothpicks. Place cherries into the centers of the rings, and secure with toothpicks also. Tie the end of the bag closed with the ties provided, place in a large roasting pan, and cut a few small slits in the top of the oven bag.
  4. Bake the ham for 2 hours in the preheated oven. The internal temperature should be 160 degrees F (80 degrees C) when done. Be sure not to touch the bone when taking the temperature. Remove ham from bag to a serving plate, and let stand for 10 minutes before carving.
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
May 08, 2003

It was the first time I had ever cooked ham in a bag and it was truly excellent. I did not cook it for 2 hrs at 350, I slow roasted it at 200 for about 6 hours and the flavor went all though the ham. I was afraid it could be dry because of the length of time slow roasting but it was not. I also had marinated the ham in the bag with all the ingrediants over nite prior to baking. Again, it turned out great.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Dec 28, 2010

I'd give it two stars, but the ingredients were expensive, and the sauce has a peculiar aftertaste and not a very pleasant aroma. I started with an excellent spiral ham that would have done well on its own. However, this recipe had rave reviews, so I thought I'd try it. The genuine maple syrup and honey were expensive, but I had high hopes. It would have been better to baste the ham rather than to bag it, as the top ended up dry and the bottom is soaked in an expensive and odd tasting concoction that includes orange juice, maraschino cherry juice and ginger ale. You have to be careful with the bag and the juice level, or you'll end up with a carbonized sugary mess in your oven. I also made the mistake of using Diamond party toothpicks (food-safe no-run color) which did bleed into the pineapple rings (gross - thanks Diamond!) I'm going to have several friends and family over to try it, and hopefully we will like it once it's cooled down a little more. Just a horrible, expensive mess in my view that ruined a perfectly good ham and a cup of genuine maple syrup and organic honey.


296 Ratings

Apr 19, 2003

Mmmmmmm!!!! This is the first ham I've ever made, and I made it for Christmas dinner, along with scalloped potatoes, baked dill carrots, corn pudding, rolls, and salad. It was just myself, my brother, and my dad, but we all thought this was the best ham ever! It was cheaper than a fancy store bought ham, and tasted better. In addition to looking gorgeous, it was sooooo sweet and tender, it was falling apart. The glaze is also really simple to prepare. The only problem I had is I kept making holes in the oven bag when I was cutting the diamonds into the unbaked ham, so I'd recommend doing that BEFORE putting it in the bag (I thought I'd save some dishes), and be careful with the toothpicks not puncturing the bag when you put on the pineapple! Also, buy the biggest oven bag you can find. Our ham took about 45 minutes longer to bake than the recipe said, and it was also 10 pounds. I think it's important to use an oven bag because it keeps the ham nice and moist. The glaze didn't reduce like I thought it would, but I put it in a bowl in the refrigerator then took off all the solidified ham fat (eww!) on the surface and it was a great sauce! This is definitely a repeat, thanks for the recipe! I've wanted to have a ham like this since I was a little girl...

Dec 26, 2003

Wow, I made this recipe today and have NEVER heard anyone rave about how juicy a ham was until today. I used an 8-lb. butt portion, and scaled the recipe to 18 servings. I placed the dressed up ham in the bag with the juices the night before and just took it out the next day an hour before oven time. I baked it at 325 degrees until it reached 160, about two and a half hours. I let it sit for about 15-20 minutes in the bag while I finished the sides. I basted it twice during baking, but didn't need to. Tip: prepare the ham, i.e., score, pineapples, cherries, etc. Then place the empty bag in a pan, and then put the ham in the bag, and pour juices over. Once the ham is in the bag, you can't move it without the toothpicks piercing it! This ham needs no sauces to cover it ... it stands on it's own, and that opinion was unanimous. Try this, it's terrific and easy cleanup is a bonus. Thanks!

Feb 03, 2004

Excellent recipe. This will be my standard method of preparing ham from now on. I deviated from the recipe somewhat in that I forgot to buy oven bags at the store. Therefore I scored my ham, mixed the marinade and poured it over my ham, uncovered in a roasting pan. I had a 15 pound semi-boneless ham and therefore cooked it for ~ 2 hrs and 45 minutes. I probably basted it 3 to 4 times while it cooked. It turned out fantastic. I did wait to place my pineapple slices and cherry halves on during the last hour of cooking, as I was afraid they may burn if placed on the ham sooner (since I was cooking mine uncovered). To me this recipe defines the traditional holiday ham.

Dec 31, 2005

This was good, but I was a bit disappointed with the flavor. I didn't use an oven bag so that I could baste the ham, but it still did not have as much flavor as I would have liked. The most flavorful of course was the bottom part that was cooked in the glaze for the full 2 hours. I liked but will find a way to keep more of the glaze on the ham. Thanks for the post.

Dec 28, 2005

This is the best tasting ham I have ever made or tasted that anyone else has ever made! I have never been able to make great ham and I have finally found the perfect recipe! EVERYONE LOVED this and there were NO leftovers! I followed the recipe exactly and my children thought I was a genius because they have never had ham like this. The cherries make it delicious and beautiful!

Apr 19, 2003

I made this for thanksgiving. The ham got eaten WELL before the turkey. Went over great and smelled SOOO good when it was cooking. I made sure to baste it ALOT.


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  • Calories
  • 667 kcal
  • 33%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 28.1 g
  • 9%
  • Cholesterol
  • 127 mg
  • 42%
  • Fat
  • 42.1 g
  • 65%
  • Fiber
  • 0.3 g
  • 1%
  • Protein
  • 42.1 g
  • 84%
  • Sodium
  • 2918 mg
  • 117%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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