If you mean without dried fruit Nigella has a clementine cake recipe or www.janespice.com/recipes/peach-spice-cake. Think Delia has a ginger cake with preserved lemons (again only good if it is only dried fruit that is the problem). Like the Yule log with marzipan idea.
My mil doesn't like fruit cake but makes a sachetorte with lovely glossing chocolate on top. It's made with almonds so is dense and lush. If you put some little Xmas secs on top and a sprinkling of icing sugar snow it would look beautiful I think.
Chocolate log decorated with chocolate buttercream icing, bit of icing sugar dusted over for snow and some Christmas cake decorations? I did that past year - it was lovely but we scoffed it after dinner on Christmas Eve. Have made a fruit Christmas cake this year but will repeat the log for our Christmas Eve dinner.
If he doesn't like fruit cake (wise little chap, it's nasty stuff, chocolate's much better ) then make chocolate cake, who cares it's not traditional!
As for icing, what do you want to do? Do you want to copy the traditional christmas cake marzipan/royal icing onto a chocolate cake (in which case I agree, I don't think that'd be very nice) or do you just want it to look Christmassy and taste good?
If it were me I'd either do a chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream icing and decorate that with snowmen etc, or I'd use white meringue frosting, possibly flavoured, which is a little harder to make than buttercream but has the advantage of being properly white, unlike buttercream (and thus better for snowy landscapes).
Me and my DS have decided we are going to make a christmas cake this year! With all the thick icing, snowmen figures etc... on - he's so excited.
Ok a few questions:
1. He doesnt like fruit cake but loves chocolate cake 2. If I did do a chocolate cake how do I ice it wouldnt it be awful the icing straight onto sponge? 3. When would be bext to make it so we could enjoy Christmas Eve/or Day