Thanks AuntGinn. I've gotten really good about adding to my ongoing spreadsheet the cost for all of my most popular recipes, so I'm building up the cheat sheet like you advise.
What I think might help would be to make a distinction between "dessert cakes" and "custom cakes". For example, I have a friend who, for a while there, needed a cake every two to three weeks. They were always "dessert cakes" (e.g., carrot cake, red velvet cake, Italian cream cake, etc.), and she never asked for ANY decoration, just a simple border was good. To me, $40 for a cake like that (typically 8 or 9 inch rounds) would be perfectly reasonable. They are GREAT cakes, and for me, I don't have to worry about coming up with a neat design or coloring five shades of icing or rolling fondant, etc. So if I've got time, I wouldn't mind doing something simple like that. But it's really easy for cake decorators to overlook the fact that, in addition to the time we actually spend baking and decorating, we are *also* spending considerable time with the gears churning in our heads over what design to do (not to mention "continuing education" on new techniques).
Does anybody feel me??