England suffered a first loss at the new Wembley as Germany took advantage of a mistake by keeper Paul Robinson.
Kuranyi equalises for the Germans
The hosts took an early lead when Micah Richards' run ended with Frank Lampard beating Jens Lehmann at his near post.
But Robinson made a hash of a Bernd Schneider cross to allow Kevin Kuranyi to tap home before Christian Pander drilled an unstoppable shot past him.
England had the chances to level but Michael Owen, Kieron Dyer and Frank Lampard all failed to capitalise.
England suffered defeat at the hands of Germany in their last game at the old Wembley and their old rivals made it a notable double in front of a sell-out at the new £800m national stadium.
With two crucial Euro 2008 qualifiers just around the corner the friendly gave coach Steve McClaren more problems than answers.
It had all started so promising with McClaren's decision to give a fifth start to 19-year-old defender Richards at right-back paying instant dividends.
The Manchester City player has been tipped to eventually settle as a central defender but he gave a decent impression of a right winger as he created the opener.
He showed some neat footwork as he cut inside Pander and slipped a pass through for the advancing Lampard, with the Chelsea midfielder ending an 12-month international goal drought by driving a shot past Lehmann.
The Arsenal keeper has had a dreadful start to the season but fortunately for him his opposite number relieved some of the pressure on him with a howler 15 minutes later.
Robinson had kept out a shot from Thomas Hitzlsperger in the lead-up to the goal.
But when Nick Shorey's clearance fell at the feet of Schneider his cross caught out the Tottenham keeper, who could only push the ball into the path of a grateful Kuranyi.
The setback seemed to knock the wind out of England after what had been a reasonable start to the game, with Richards and Joe Cole offering plenty of width.
England could have restored their lead when a David Beckham free-kick was flicked on by Alan Smith but was just out of John Terry's reach.
Lampard could have got a second when he was put through by Beckham but Lehmann saved with his legs.
Instead it was Germany who went in front - and this time there was nothing Robinson could have done.
Pander, who had been caught out for England's goal, made amends on his international debut when he ventured forward and cracked home an unstoppable left-foot strike.
Robinson did not have the best of evenings at Wembley
Michael Owen wasted two chances to level things up before the interval, when Lehmann showed his Jekyll and Hyde characteristics.
First of all he denied an Owen header with a brilliant reflex stop, but then he gifted the England striker the easiest of opportunities only for him to fire over an unguarded net.
Robinson's misery was cut short when he made way at half-time for the recalled David James.
It was the start of the usual raft of substitutions which only seems to disrupt England's far-from-free-flowing game.
Kieron Dyer almost made his mark when he was set-up by Beckham only to sidefoot past the upright.
Shaun Wright-Phillips - another second-half arrival - crossed for Lampard only for him to volley off target and sum up another dreary evening for England fans.
McClaren has talked about making their new home their fortress, but England will go into their next game, the Euro 2008 qualifier against Israel on 8 September, still looking for a first win there.
England: Robinson, Richards, Ferdinand, Terry, Shorey, Beckham, Carrick, Lampard, Joe Cole, Smith, Owen.
Subs: James, Brown, Taylor, Barry, Neville, Dyer, Wright-Phillips, Downing, Defoe, Crouch, Carson.
Germany: Lehmann, Friedrich, Mertesacker, Metzelder, Lahm, Odonkor, Schneider, Hitzlsperger, Pander, Trochowski, Kuranyi. Subs: Hildebrand, Kiessling, Hilbert, Helmes, Rolfes, Tasci, Castro.
Referee: Massimo Puscaba (Switzerland)