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gluten-free Baking Smells Bad Suddenly

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I've been waiting before posting this hoping that I'd figure it out on my own but I don't know what to do.

I've been baking gluten-free for several years and everything was alright but last month I baked a gluten-free cake (normal recipe that I converted) that I had baked before and when I took it out of the oven there was on "off" smell. I don't know how to describe it (the closest is like vanilla that is bad but this had no vanilla in it) but it wasn't right - definitely not the way all of my gluten-free baking used to smell.

So I bought ALL new ingredients and scrubbed every bowl and pan that I use (even my flour storage and my oven) and baked the same cake - and it smelled the same!

I decided to bake several different things that used different ingredients and different pans - brownies, cookies, muffins - smelling every ingredient before adding it (they all were ok) but it all had the same smell after baking.

As much as I dislike wasting food, you become accustomed to some in-edibles when you experiment at gluten-free baking but this is horrible and a huge waste of time!

So today I baked a lemon chiffon cake that smelled ok while it was baking (and looks gorgeous!) but when I cut it - there was that smell!

Since no two of the things that I baked use exactly the same ingredients, the only thing that they all had in common is the flour mix that I create from the different rice flours.

I just don't know how or why the exact same brand might be "bad" - if it was ok from one lot and then bad from the same lot and then the new lot is also bad?

My last attempt will be to buy a prepared flour mix later this week but if that doesn't work I don't know what I will do!

Has this has happened to anyone else?

Has anyone got any ideas what is causing it?


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I've noticed that the gluten-free items I make for DH smell "off/acidic/sour" as they are baking. I know it's not bad flour, etc., I just assumed it's the chemical reactions as the ingredients do their thing in the heat of the oven.

If it really lingers in my kitchen, I just spray some air freshener when it's cooled and thrown in the fridge.

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Hi. It could very well be some ingredient, but I have had similar things happen to me both with taste and smell. There are times when I can't stand the taste of the green tea I normally DEMAND 10 times in my day. I usually just quit eating them for a while, and then they seem to come back. I think there are probably mechanisms we have to avoid eating things that are dangerous to us at a given time. Good luck.

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