Why Everyone Is Sweet on Scott Rigell

Posted May 7, 2013 at 2:59pm

When last we checked in on Rep. Scott Rigell, the Virginia Republican was busy propping up various fast-food franchises stretched between Capitol Hill and Hampton Roads, Va.

With his travel diet now well-documented, HOH went digging closer to home — probing his staff for more information about the fabled dessert made by Rigell’s wife, Teri: lemon pound cake.

While our initial investigation focused on the family recipe (more on that in a moment), we soon discovered that the cult of Teri’s baking extends far beyond Rigell’s office in Cannon.

“Sometimes on the floor, I’ll find Scott to ask for advice on legislation. Scott probably thinks he’s being helpful, but I usually already know how I’m going to vote — I’m really just hoping he’ll tell me he’s got some of Teri’s lemon pound cake in the cloakroom,”  Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., said.

“I think Teri’s lemon pound cake is the reason Scott has so many friends here. It’s that delicious,” Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wis., told HOH.

“I’ll trade some shrimp and grits for Teri’s lemon pound cake any day!” Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., exclaimed.

For his part, Rigell openly admits his wife’s cooking is his not-so-secret weapon.

“Teri is an unbelievably gifted cook and she enjoys inviting my colleagues, Republicans and Democrats, to our home for dinner. I’m so proud of her for using her gift of hospitality to bring members together in a relaxed, comfortable setting,” he gushed. “I do, however, have to check with ethics to see if it’s okay for me to give one of her famous lemon pound cakes to each member who co-sponsors one of my bills!”

What’s all the fuss about? Find out for yourself:

Teri Rigell’s ‘Bipartisan’ Lemon Pound Cake

Ingredients (have all ingredients at room temperature)

2 sticks butter
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups Swans Down cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Lemon Glaze
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 cups confectioners’ sugar


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Cream butter using stand or hand mixer.

3. Gradually add sugar to butter while beating at medium speed.

4. Add eggs one at a time to butter/sugar mixture, beating after each egg.

5. In separate bowl, sift flour and baking powder together.

6. Add flour mixture and sour cream (about a third of each at a time) to sugar mixture, beating after each addition. Scrape sides of bowl with spatula as needed.

7. Add vanilla; beat again.

8. Pour into a greased and floured Bundt or tube pan.

9. Bake 65 to 75 minutes.  (Teri’s note: The key is to very slightly undercook it. That makes it more moist and delicious.)

10.  Let cool 5 to 10 minutes and turn it out on your favorite cake stand.

11.  For glaze: Whisk lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar together; spoon over the cake while it is still warm.  Enjoy!