Aretha Franklin's Queen of Soul Ham

"If you're reading this on a Friday and you're like me, you'll be in the grocery store tomorrow, so today I'll give you ingredients for a recipe for Sunday dinner. How about Aretha Franklin's Queen of Soul Ham? I got this recipe a few years ago when Aretha was on Martha Stewart, B.I. -- Before Incarceration :-P Aretha said on the show that soul can be a lot of things to a lot of folks -- it's a feeling. When you cook, you should put your soul into it -- people will taste the difference (trust me on this one). Now my notes on this one -- I'm giving you Aretha's original recipe for the whole bone-in ham; however, you can achieve the same effect with a couple of ham steaks on a Tuesday night in a shallow baking pan. Just eyeball all the ingredients, switch the whole cloves for clove powder and reduce the amounts of the remaining ingredients so you don't end up with a brown sugar fruit platter! Also -- I just could not put coconut on my ham. Eww... but if you like the idea, go for it! Oh -- and I used dark brown sugar. Light is for!"
photo by Jonorbeng photo by Jonorbeng
photo by Jonorbeng
Ready In:
2hrs 35mins




  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Using a paring knife, score the ham, creating a diamond pattern. Insert cloves into the corners of each diamond.
  • Place the ham on a rack set in a 12 x 15-inch roasting pan. Cover loosely with foil, and bake until ham appears juicy, about 30 minutes.
  • Place brown sugar and mustard in a medium bowl, and stir to combine.
  • Gradually add ginger ale to brown sugar mixture until a pourable consistency is achieved; you may not need the whole can.
  • Remove ham from oven and remove foil. Pour brown sugar mixture over ham. Make sure you coat the sides too.
  • Cover ham with foil, return to oven, and cook for 1 hour, basting every 20 minutes.
  • Remove foil for last 20 minutes.
  • Remove ham from oven.
  • Arrange pineapple rings and maraschino cherries in a docorative pattern on ham, securing them with toothpicks.
  • Baste the fruit.
  • Bake ham until fruit is heated through, 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle ham with coconut garnish, if desired.

Questions & Replies

  1. Do you use whole bag, of brown sugar
  2. Do you use all the brown sugar?


  1. This by far was the best homemade ham I have every tasted. Aretha Franklin was indeed a great cook as well as a singer. I am not a pork lover at all.
  2. This is the only recipe I will use. It makes the perfect nostalgic ham. My mom is a gourmet cook and after trying this recipe it is the only one that she will cook now too.
  3. Great recipe. I have made this and saw the show when she was on Martha Stewart living


<p>Hi, My name is Adrienne (Chef #514761) and I live in Reisterstown, Maryland USA with my husband Keith. We are now empty nesters after having raised our son and daughter. I work as a university administrator. My interests include metaphysical study, Reiki, angels, faeries, paranormal phenomena, Tarot and more. I also enjoy reading, writing, graphics design and I cross stitch too. :) <br /> <br />Favorite Quote: <em>I have never been contained except I made the prison. - Mari Evans</em></p>
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