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

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


  1. MInnie P.
    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. avalontwilightdesig
    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. daffy983
    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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