I want to bake cakes to take into work tomorrow. But I also have a broccoli and half an onion that need eating soon, and was thinking of having broccoli and sausages with onion for dinner. Is there a way of baking the cakes and cooking the dinner on the same evening without the cakes absorbing broccoli/ onion smell, or do these activities need to be done on different days? Which is it better to cook first?

Possibly relevant information about this specific situation (though I think more general answers would be better):

  • There is an extractor fan which can be used if necessary (though it's very noisy and annoying).
  • The cakes would be cupcakes/butterfly buns with buttercream.
  • I prefer to do the sausages and onions in the oven rather than the frying pan, but don't have to.
  • Is this really an issue you have? I have never had this be a problem in the past.
    – Catija
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 14:35
  • Cake first, then stow it in an airtight container. The smells only come into play if they are already there, I'd think. Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 14:51
  • 1
    Cook your meal and don't worry about smell transfers. Unless you have your onion and cake in the oven at the same time it's a non-issue. Even then it's probably not a problem.
    – GdD
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 17:02
  • Of all the ultra-imaginative, hypothetical and arcane topics people bring up here that nobody questions, you doubt that this particular one is a real isssue? What about it seems fantastical?
    – Lorel C.
    Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 17:03

1 Answer 1


To people saying it's not an issue... um.. yes it bloody is! If I cook a smelly oniony meal in the oven and then bake cake or something in it (even the next) it absolutely absorbs smells and really ruins it!

  • It's possible that your response is going to get turned into a comment, but you've effectively answered the question -- don't cook the onion-y item before the cake. (And it's even worse to bake them together. You want to bake the cake before the other dish). For people who say it's not a problem, maybe it's not for you -- some people are more sensitive to flavors and smells, and some onions are more pungent than others. You can vent the oven for a while in between, but then you're wasting heat / gas / electricity / whatever.
    – Joe
    Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 15:20
  • As Joe suggested, this needs an edit to be a proper answer. You can remove the opinions as well.
    – user34961
    Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 20:22

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