Welshman Sam Vokes marked his 100th Premier League appearance in style, heading in the winner for Burnley in the Welsh capital.
The target man dispatched a cross by Johann Berg Gudmundsson expertly to gain the clarets their first back to back wins since April, and their first victory over Cardiff in fourteen attempts.
Cardiff winger Josh Murphy cancelled out Gudmundsson's opener an hour in, to give Cardiff the goal their first half performance had deserved.
All the excitement had come in the second half, with three goals in twenty minutes as both teams battled for a much needed three points.
Cardiff quickest out of the blocks
The Bluebirds dominated the early exchanges, and would have thought themselves unlucky not to be winning come half time.
The first chance came after a quarter of an hour, when Murphy broke into the Burnley penalty area, only to see his effort come back off the post.
Danish international Kenneth Zohore was denied by Joe Hart who was strong in between the sticks throughout for the Clarets.
The Cardiff City Stadium erupted just before half time as Murphy headed in following a scramble in the Burnley box, only for it to be ruled out by Referee Martin Atkinson.
The Bluebirds continued to dominate before the interval, with another goal mouth scramble leading to Callum Patterson's effort being cleared off the line by Ashley Westwood.
Burnley silence the home crowd
For Burnley, things could only improve following a lacklustre first half, with a more positive start to the second period being rewarded with the opener, Westwood looping a ball into the City box for Gudmundsson to head down past Neil Etheridge into the Cardiff net.
Cardiff responded with a goal of their own to the delight of the city faithful, with winger Josh Murphy clinically placing a Bruno Ecuele Manga cross into the bottom corner. Game on.
The Clarets began to build some momentum however, and with just their second shot on target, Sam Vokes popped up to score the winner, heading in from a Gudmundsson cross to send the travelling fans home with a smile.
City boss Neil Warnock tried his hardest to rescue a point, sending on Danny Ward and Gary Madine, and the Bluebirds threatened right up to the final whistle, Murphy once-more causing trouble firing just past Hart's post, before seeing his free-kick go inches wide moments after.
Takeaways from the game
Chances missed equals points lost
This game was the epitome of Premier League football - if you fail to take your chances, you will be punished. Cardiff will feel extremely disappointed not to have come away with at least a point, especially considering the chances they had in the first half.
For Burnley, two goals from just two shots on target in 90 minutes, clinical from the Clarets which will please Sean Dyche more than the performance.
January transfer market huge for Cardiff?
Strikers score you goals, unless you're Cardiff. With just one of their four goals coming from a front man, are the Bluebirds beginning to regret not signing a striker in the summer? Zohore had chances but to no avail and has been missing something since the start of the season. Neil Warnock himself admitted earlier this week that Zohore had been struggling in training, and is looking for more from his forwards. Will Cardiff stay in the league if they don't sign a striker in January? Only time will tell.
Man of the match
In a game devoid of quality from outfield players, it was Hart who provided the game with some class, keeping the Clarets in front with saves from Murphy, Zohore and Victor Camarasa, whilst also having to deal with the Cardiff fans behind him chanting "England's number four".