i so sorry to hear this, and i think i know how you feel. friends or friendly referrals don’t realize that the costs of a scratch home baker are higher than a commercial bakery. also, many people often prefer a home baker because they think they can save some money. you need to believe me how many parties i have been invited to, provided i bring the cake. i still do so, but only whenever i truly have the time to do so. it doesn’t matter if the event is on a 5 star venue, if you can’t, you shouldn’t.
i think the key is to do it for only so long, and after that, just truly charge for what you are worth or for how long it takes you to bake something.
i have just priced a few of my cakes, the latest around $450, and lets see who bites the hook. what i am doing now, for cakes that i can’t do because it wouldn’t be cost efficient, is to refer the business to some local bakery.
i gave it a lot of thought and years, and i now feel a little more relieved and better understood.