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!
Memorial Day Picnic Table Cookies @KatrinasKitchen

Sugar Cookie Bars

A sugar cookie bar decorated like a picnic table

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For the Cookie Bars

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 Animal crackers, nilla wafers, or any other cookie crumbles (optional)
  • 1/3 cup black licorice

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 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 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.

For Decorating the Cookie Cake

  • Lay down a large trash bag and place your frosted cookies on top.
  • 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


Calories: 397kcal, Carbohydrates: 59g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 16g, Cholesterol: 68mg, Sodium: 209mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 38g, Calcium: 16mg
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