Picnic Tablecloth Cookies

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These delicious frosted sugar cookie bars are all dressed up to go on a picnic. Adorable Picnic Tablecloth Cookies!

Picnic Table Cookies- perfect for holidays and summer picnics. Cute!!

When I think of Memorial Day the next word that comes to mind is always “picnic,” so that was the inspiration for these gingham picnic tablecloth cookie bars. I don’t know about you but when my family does picnics/potlucks it is pretty simple- and perfect! My dad and husband hang out around the grill while my mom and I cart the food and fixings out to the picnic table. There’s usually a plastic red checkered tablecloth involved along with paper plates, plastic forks, and red Solo cups. 😉

Checkered Picnic Table Cookie Bar Recipe

I used the ever-popular sugar cookie bar for the base. I’ve made these many times and keep returning to them because they are simple and pack a lot of flavor. Who doesn’t love a soft sugar cookie smothered in buttercream? Of course you could make this picnic tablecloth on a 9×13 cake too if that’s more your style.

 Adorable Picnic Tablecloth Cookies! Perfect for holidays and summer picnics!

I used tape and strips of paper to make the gingham pattern but you could use masking tape and skip the paper altogether. Using Wilton’s food coloring mist I took these outside and sprayed the pan with the strips of paper all going one way. Then I adjusted the paper strips to go the opposite way across the pan and sprayed again. It was a little windy so there was some overlap. Still, I loved the effect, and I loved even more that it was so simple. A few cookie crumbs and some black licorice complete the look.

My husband was amused when he saw the ant trails looping around the pan and asked me if I had ever seen ants going around in circles.

Well, ants follow their leader and this leader happened to be a bit whimsical. So there.

Take a bite out of these delicious frosted sugar cookies- they look like a picnic tablecloth!

This post is part of a Virtual Memorial Day Potluck with Celebrations.com. I brought dessert. I promise there are many other tasty treats waiting for you so go check them out:

Sugar Cookie Bars {and Gingham Picnic Tablecloth Instructions}

A sugar cookie bar decorated like a picnic table
Servings 1 jellyroll pan


  • For the sugar cookie bars:
  • 1 Cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 Cups four
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Animal crackers nilla wafers, or any other cookie crumbles (optional)
  • black licorice
  • For the Frosting:
  • 1/2 Cup butter room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup shortening
  • 4 Cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract optional
  • 4 Tablespoons milk or heavy cream
  • Red spray food coloring


  • For the sugar cookie bars:
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In the bowl of your mixer cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add this to the wet mixture slowly until just combined.
  • Using your hands press the dough down into a greased jelly roll pan (10x15). You can use a 9x13 of course but you will need to increase the baking time.
  • Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes until golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool completely before frosting.
  • For the Frosting:
  • In a mixing bowl beat butter and shortening until combined. Slowly add extracts and powdered sugar. Add milk/cream as the frosting thickens. Use as much milk/cream as you want until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Spread over cookie bars.
  • Assembling the tablecloth:
  • Lay down a large trash bag and place your frosted cookies on top. (I did this outside...it was windy.)
  • Using masking tape or long 1/2 inch strips of paper make a diagonal pattern across the frosted cookie bars.
  • Spray the cookies with red food coloring.
  • Adjust the paper strips to go the opposite way across the pan and spray again.
  • Place black licorice pieces along the pan to look like ant trails.
  • Sprinkle with cookie crumbs.
- Katrina

37 Responses to “Picnic Tablecloth Cookies”

  1. #
    bakedbyrachel — May 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Woah! Brilliant and adorable. I really like the whimsical ants going around in circles 😉 But I'm cursing you for saying 'red solo cup' now I have that damn song stuck in my head. Curses!
    My recent post Mini Coffee Cheesecakes with Caramel Whipped Cream

  2. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dish — May 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    This is perfect for a picnic! I love those sugar cookie bars, I just made my first batch last week! i have seen the Wilton mist at the store, but wasn't sure how to use it, now I know!!

  3. #
    meaghan — May 21, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    As promised, I kept my eye out and posted a link on Edible Crafts 🙂 !
    My recent post glittering rainbow cookies and a Sprinkle Bakes Cookbook GIVEAWAY

  4. #
    actorsdiet — May 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    oooh adorable!
    My recent post Where It’s Atwater

  5. #
    Rowena — May 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    This looks too good to be eaten. But it looks so good inside too! Thanks for sharing! I'm glad to have worked with you!
    My recent post Speck Skewers with Herb Mayonnaise and Grilled Mediterranean Aubergine Bundles with Provola: A Virtual Potluck

  6. #
    Valerie — May 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    So cute! What a great idea to make patterns with tape strips!
    Happy early Memorial Day, Katrina. I need to visit more often. (I still get requests for those homemade butterfingers!) 😀

  7. #
    amyscookingad — May 21, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Cute idea & perfect for the weekend!

  8. #
    bridget — May 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Just darling!
    My recent post Lavender & Lemon Scones

  9. #
    ellesnewenglandkitchen — May 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Katrina, when we got the list of other recipes in the potluck, I just could NOT wait to see these! They didn't disappoint–I have to make these for the Memorial Day weekend. So adorable! I also love that I can do this on a cake, too. Love these so much!

  10. #
    Hungry Happenings — May 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I absolutely love the technique you used to create the checkerboard pattern for your tablecloth. Amazing! The ants and the crumbs add a touch of whimsy and make this a picture perfect dessert for any picnic. I've been looking for a good fruit pizza cookie crust and will have to try this recipe out. It looks perfect.
    My recent post A virtual Memorial Day potluck with Celebrations – Patriotic Biscuits

  11. #
    Rachel Cooks — May 21, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Fun potluck and super creative cookie bars! I love them!
    My recent post Pizza Turkey Burgers

  12. #
    Comfort of Cooking — May 21, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Oh my goodness, how adorable and fun are these! You're so talented and creative, Katrina! Thanks for sharing. Also, I'm having a ChicWrap giveaway today that you should enter!

  13. #
    lilaloa — May 21, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    This is such a fun idea! Fantastic job on the spraying!!! And I absolutely LOVE that you decorated a bar cookie! I'm totally doing that for the next potluck!

  14. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — May 22, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Just when I think you can't be any more amazing you do this! I cannot even believe you anymore.
    My recent post Fluffy Pancakes

  15. #
    Averie — May 22, 2012 at 12:59 am

    that tablecloth…soooo creative and pretty! If I tried that, I'd have what would resemble an exploded black and red pen 🙂
    My recent post Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies – Milk Bar Mondays

  16. #
    Dorothy — May 22, 2012 at 1:41 am

    So super cute! Love this. It's the only time I might like ants, lol.
    My recent post Almond Joy Pudding Cookies

  17. #
    Sue — May 22, 2012 at 2:51 am

    I never tire of gingham! Adorable!
    My recent post Double~Decker Flag Cookies & SprinkleBakes Book Winner!

  18. #
    Anna — May 22, 2012 at 3:20 am

    These are so cute and festive, what a great idea!

  19. #
    bakingserendipity — May 22, 2012 at 4:29 am

    These are adorable! A perfect Memorial Day dessert! 🙂
    My recent post Brownie Batter Popcorn

  20. #
    Sweetsugarbelle — May 22, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Okay…I cannot rave enough about how stinkin cute these are!!! So so so so stinking cute!!!!
    My recent post Flowery Alphabet Cookies

  21. #
    Maureen — May 22, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Aren't you clever!! I looked at the first photo and thought.. no way. but yes way you did it!
    My recent post Raisin Bread with Lemon Curd

  22. #
    Tara — May 22, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    This is so cute. I am going to post it on my Mouth Watering Mondays post this Monday at http://www.noshingwiththenolands.com Come on by to see it. Cheers, Tara

  23. #
    Lori @ RecipeGirl — May 23, 2012 at 1:13 am

    How cute are these??? Love.
    My recent post Cookies and Cream Frosting

  24. #
    Lindsey — May 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Oh my goodness, this has to be one of the cutest ideas I've ever seen!! Love love love it Katrina! 🙂
    My recent post Milk Chocolate Cardamom Oatmeal Cookies

  25. #
    Tracy — May 24, 2012 at 12:25 am

    These are so adorable! What a cute summer idea!
    My recent post Banana & Cherry Baked Oatmeal

  26. #
    [email protected] network — May 24, 2012 at 10:58 am

    A mouth-watering cake! Exactly my idea of heavenly food. 

    My recent post Pizza Trip!

  27. #
    [email protected] network — May 24, 2012 at 11:39 am

    A mouth-watering cookies! Exactly my idea of heavenly food. 
    My recent post

  28. #
    Susieqtpies — May 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Ohmy gosh! So fun! i am making this for my party this weekend. I love your blog and recipe ideas. I would LOVE for you to pop over and link this up in my Red White and Blue linky! It would be fun having you!

    Susie https://cafescrapper-scrapsoflife.blogspot.com/201
    My recent post Falafel, Hummus and Tzatziki recipes

  29. #
    texydeb — May 24, 2012 at 4:17 pm


  30. #
    Baker Street — May 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Woah! That is so creative! You really come up with the best ideas, K! 🙂
    My recent post Caramel Croissant Pudding

  31. #
    gastronomic nomad — May 24, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    I am always so jealous of your decorating skills. It is seriously impressive. Any chef who looks down on a baker is crazy because it is 200x harder to make something look so beautiful and artistic. I'm going to need some assistance for my friend's 30th birthday cake as she somehow has the misguided notion that I'm a baker!

  32. #
    therealnutritionist — May 24, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    You are SOOOOOO TALENTED!! I love this!

  33. #
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — May 25, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Picnics are one of my favorite ways to relax and enjoy summer and this is just the cutest way to celebrate!
    My recent post Pomegrante, Blueberry, Matcha Tea Slushy | An Antioxidant Punch

  34. #
    kat — May 26, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    this is the cutest thing ever!

  35. #
    Skye — May 28, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    This is soooo cute! I love this idea!! Now I want to have a picnic just so that I can make it!
    My recent post Overfed Mushrooms

  36. #
    @damn_delicious — May 29, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Oh my goodness these are just too precious! You are so innovative for coming up with these!
    My recent post Baked Brown Sugar Chicken Wings with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

  37. #
    akitchenaddiction — May 29, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    How adorable! These would make a fun picnic dessert!
    My recent post No-Bake Mocha Cheesecake Bars

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