Edinburgh recovered from a recent slump in form to ease to victory over the sorry Blues in the Magners League.
The visitors faded after a promising start and trailed 13-6 at the break after Ross Rennie crashed in a try.
Full-back Jim Thompson added another touchdown early in the second half, finishing off a neat passing move.
Yellow cards for Fraser McKenzie and Roddy Grant saw Edinburgh lose their way but the Welsh side lacked the guile to take advantage in a scrappy contest.
The win lifts Edinburgh to third in the table, while the Blues, who have lost all five of their away games this season, stay in eighth spot.
On a bitterly cold evening at Murrayfield, the team from Cardiff made most of the early running but had to settle for an exchange of penalties between Ceri Sweeney and Edinburgh skipper Chris Paterson, leaving the scores tied at 6-6.
However, Edinburgh, who had failed to score a try in their last four outings, went in ahead at the halfway stage thanks to some inspired play from stand-off Rory Hutton, making his league debut.
The 22-year-old skipped through a number of challenges with the help of a fabulous dummy and, as he was hauled down just short of the line, popped a pass to flanker Rennie to flop over from close range, with Paterson adding the conversion.
The second half was just two minutes old when Edinburgh added a second try.
Thompson and winger Tim Visser combined at pace and the flying Dutchman offloaded for the full-back to sail over for a simple touchdown. This time Paterson was guilty of a rare miss with the boot.
The Blues rallied briefly and Andy Powell led a surge on the Edinburgh line but it was the impressive Roddy Grant who stole the ball, burst free and cleared the danger.
The home side continued to look the more likely and Allan Jacobsen barrelled through on a 40-yard burst only for the experienced prop to run out of steam.
As the final quarter approached Leigh Halfpenny surged from full-back, collected his own kick and won a penalty which he duly converted, while Sweeney trimmed the gap further when he slotted his third penalty in the 64th minute.
Edinburgh made life more difficult than it ought to have been, losing McKenzie, then Grant, to foolish yellow cards but Paterson's penalty with twelve minutes left denied Cardiff a losing bonus point and steadied the home ship.
Edinburgh head coach Rob Moffat: "We were pleased to get a win but I think we should have won by more.
"At 18-6, if we had been playing really well, we might have got another couple of tries and a bonus point. That's what we should be aiming for.
"But we gave them chances to come back into the game by conceding penalties for some reason."
Cardiff Blues director of rugby Dai Young: "To come away from Edinburgh with nothing is hugely disappointing.
"We should have at least come away with a losing bonus point but to be quite honest we blew it.
"We've got to start nailing these wins. We've got to stop talking about it and just do it."
Edinburgh: Paterson, Thompson, Cairns, Houston, Visser, Hutton, Laidlaw, Jacobsen, Ford, Young, C. Hamilton, MacLeod, MacDonald, Rennie, R. Grant.Replacements: Robertson for Houston (60), De Luca for Hutton (60), Kelly for Ford (70), Newlands for MacLeod (56). Not Used: Traynor, J. Hamilton, Samson.
Blues: Halfpenny, Mustoe, Laulala, Roberts, T. James, Sweeney, Cooper, Hobbs, T. Thomas, Filise, Jones, Tito, Pretorius, G. Williams, A. Powell. Replacements: G. Thomas for T. James (70), Flanagan for Sweeney (70), Rees for Cooper (52), Andrews for Hobbs (70), Davies for Pretorius (62). Not Used: R. James, White.
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