Domi Kumblea scored his third and fourth goals of the season at either end of the game, but Aue had the majority of the chances in between and were the better side for much of the match.
However after Kumbela scored in the 89th minute to make the game safe, Braunschweig now sit five points clear at the top, at least until second-placed Hannover 96 play on Sunday.
Braunschweig looking to continue excellent start
The hosts were looking for a second win of the season, with their victory over SV Sandhausen coming between defeats to 1. FC Heidenheim and SpVgg Greuther Fürth, leaving them eleventh in the table before kick-off.
They made three changes, with one enforced. Christian Tiffert was suspended after receiving two yellow cards against Fürth, with Louis Samson replacing him. Also coming in were Cebio Soukou and Simon Skarlatidis for Nicky Adler and Dimitrij Nazarov.
Braunschweig meanwhile were top with the only 100% record in the league, following wins over Würzburger Kickers, FC St. Pauli and 1. FC Nürnberg, with the latter being a hugely-impressive 6-1 romp.
Unsurprisingly there was no need to make major changes, the only one seeing Salim Khelifi drop to the bench for Onel Hernández.
Riedel mistake but Aue impress
Braunschweig needed just ten minutes to become the first away team to score at Aue since Rot-Weiß Erfurt drew 2-2 in a 3. Liga match in February. Julian Riedel did not cover himself in glory, attempting a weak headed back pass towards Martin Männel whilst tussling with Kumbela, who pounced on the loose ball to score.
Surprisingly though it was the hosts who had more of the chances, but they didn’t make the most of them. Pascal Köpke could have taken a better touch when putting over a Mario Kvesić corner, and then went wide after Jasmin Fejzić struggled to deal with a curling Kvesić free kick.
Calogero Rizzuto also had a shot deflected wide off Ken Reichel, however having injured himself challenging the Braunschweig captain a few minutes earlier, the attempt caused further pain and he was soon replaced by Fabio Kaufmann.
Braunschweig should have scored a second ten minutes before the break. A Hernández cross was met at the far post by Julius Biada, but he could only head it back across goal for Riedel to clear.
Hosts remain on top
Braunschweig made a half-time change, taking off Biada and bringing on Mirko Boland for his 250th league apperance for Die Löwen. However it made little difference with Aue still applying the majority of the pressure.
Kvesić, who seemed to be central to most of Aue’s attacking play, went just over with a free-kick five minutes in, although Fejzić probably had it covered. The keeper was soon after booked after a clash with Steve Breitkreuz, who also saw yellow.
Christoffer Nyman, also coming from the bench for Braunschweig, had a tame shot saved by Männel, which remained Braunschweig’s only signiciant chance of the second half for some time.
Soukou then wide for Aue after running through a crowd of players, and Kvesić also had a great chance from the left of goal, but it was intercepted by Phil Ofosu-Ayeh.
Kumbela catches out Männel
Then came two excellent opportunities for Braunschweig to seal the points. A challenge by Ofosu-Ayeh sparked an attack on the counter, with Nyman setting up Kumbela for what should have been his second, but he took too long and Riedel got back to clear his shot. Another quick break then led to a Nyman chance, which he put wide.
With two minutes left the game was made safe though. A long clearance from Fejzić went straight to Kumbela, and with Männel off his line he took his chance and lobbed the ball over the keeper.
And there was a chance for a third right on the final whistle, but a cross from Patrick Schönfeld was put over by Ofosu-Ayeh.
A disappointing result for the hosts, who have now lost three of their four matches following promotion, despite an impressive performance. But Braunschweig now have a comfortable lead at the top, although Hannover could close the gap with victory against Dynamo Dresden on Sunday afternoon.