Tell them you have a job, the cakes are done on your day off, which means you dont have to do them for a living! So if they want cake, they pay for a cake and your time! If you have time and the want to do a cake, do it, but if you dont, tell them your all caked out and its not happening. No backbone needed for this lol!
I think I avoided that at work from the beginning by NEVER bringing cakes, cupcakes, etc. for a specific occasion, ONLY when the mood strikes me or when I want to practice a decorating technique or try new recipes. My reason for that was I didn't want to start getting tied down to certain dates, etc. What if I am busy the week of so and so's birthday? I'd hate to hurt someone's feelings. I have a new boss who has hinted around for cupcakes for staff birthdays but I just haven't taken the bait. If she flat out asks, I'll figure out a way to deal with it. I'm sure if I explain that I can't charge the school for them she'll get that and realize that it would be coming out of my pocket and on my time.
As for my friends and family, I want to make cakes for them but they haven't taken advantage of me at all or been demanding.
What state do you live in? In some states it is illegal to accept money for cakes made from home, so you can use that as an excuse for not accepting orders.
Of course, if you live in one of these states you would need to find commercial kitchen space before accepting money for orders again.
I completely understand your frustration.. There are all different types of people in most work places. I keep a candy jar on my desk and the people that come in and get the most free candy (free to them of course) are the same cheapskates that whine about pitching in for someone's retirement gift (someone who has been there 20 years) and for pitch ins always ask to bring paper plates... so annoying. I have done what someone else mentioned and I make what I want when I want and if someone were to suggest I make birthday cakes for each person I would decline. It would suck the fun right out of it especially if they got all demanding and wanted to dictate what they got regarless of cost and time to me... those people are takers and always will be.. sad but I hope they let you alone and you get the joy of baking back.
Just say NO..you really don't have to give a reason...
I tried to edit my original post but I don't know what I did to it. Thanks for the advice, it helps!