Rob Moffat's men grabbed two tries - their first for four matches - as Jim Thompson and Ross Rennie went over either side of half-time and Chris Paterson supplied the rest of the hosts' points courtesy of a conversion and three penalties.
Cardiff, winless in their last four outings against Scottish opposition, had three penalties from fly-half Ceri Sweeney and a further three-pointer from full-back Leigh Halfpenny to show for their efforts.
Edinburgh showed the greater flair throughout as well as snuffing out the Cardiff attack with some rock-solid defence in which a determined back row unit of Alan MacDonald, Roddy Grant and Ross Rennie were outstanding.
Rookie fly-half Rory Hutton had a dream debut, setting up the opening try for Edinburgh which proved to be the turning point of the game.
The home forwards were under pressure from the first scrum and Cardiff made the opening dent with a Sweeney dart down the wing and from the move infield, Edinburgh infringed to give Sweeney the easiest of penalty chances to open the scoring.
Paterson levelled the scores a couple of minutes later and then put the hosts ahead on the quarter hour, after Gareth Cooper was penalised for injudicious use of the boot at a ruck.
But Sweeney soon tied the scores after Blues centre Casey Laulala had threatened to break through the Edinburgh defence.
There was little at this stage to warm the 1,565-strong crowd in sub-zero temperatures and the conditions played a part in the numerous mistakes bt both sides.
However, as Edinburgh started to enjoy more territory and possession, they were turned over with ease any time a threat built up until a moment of magic from Hutton brought the game to life.
The 22-year-old got scrappy ball on the 10-metre line and with a jink and outrageous dummy broke through the defence.
He was hauled down just short of the line but Rennie took the scoring pass to claim a long-awaited try for the Scottish side.
Paterson converted and the home side went in to the interval with a 13-6 lead they just about deserved.
Edinburgh came out all guns blazing in the second half and a superb link-up between Thompson and Tim Visser ended with Visser putting his fellow winger over for the try, with Paterson missing the conversion.
The Cardiff pack cranked up their game as the match edged away from them. Andy Powell led a surge on the Edinburgh line but it was the flame-haired Grant who again was the rock on which the attack floundered as he stole the ball, burst free and cleared the danger.
Moffat's charges continued to look the more dangerous side and when prop Allan Jacobsen barrelled through on a 30-yard canter a score looked on the cards, but over-eagerness to add to their two tries was the home side's undoing.
As the final quarter approached Halfpenny hared through from his full-back position, collected his own kick and won a penalty which he duly converted, and Sweeney trimmed the gap further when he slotted his third penalty in the 64th minute.
But Paterson's penalty, with twelve minutes remaining, denied Cardiff a losing bonus point and, although they came close as desperation set in, there was no way they could breach an Edinburgh defence which had been in defiant form throughout.
|Edinburgh Rugby Score Card|
|Cardiff Blues Score Card|