David Abraham and Anthony Modeste put Markus Gisdol's men two up while they also had a third goal ruled out.
Two goals in three minutes from Mike Frantz and Daniel Ginczek then deprived them of victory and earned Nuremberg a point in an entertaining encounter.
After an even opening, Hoffenheim slowly started to gain the upper hand with Raphael Schafer at full stretch to turn Jannik Vestergaard's heard over the crossbar after half an hour.
Soon after, the Nuremberg goalkeeper was picking the ball out of the back of his own goal after another Hoffenheim defender, this time Abraham, scoring with an acrobatic effort from Sebastian Rudy's corner.
It was Abraham's first Bundesliga goal, although he did score in the relegation play-off in May and the first round of the DFB-Pokal last weekend, meaning he has now scored in Hoffenheim's last three competitive games.
The home team should have taken a two-goal lead into the break with them, but Kevin Volland's shot, which appeared to cross the goalline before curling back out, was not given just before the interval, leaving Hoffenheim questioning why the German Football Liga (DFL) declined the use of goalline technology which will be used in England's Community Shield tomorrow.
Those complaints were soon forgotten about as Modeste completed a counter-attack to grab a goal on his Bundesliga debut early in the second half.
Markus Feulner set up substitute Frantz to give Nuremberg hope in the 54th minute, and that hope turned to belief just three minutes later when Frantz teed up Ginczek to bring Nuremberg level with his first Bundesliga goal.
Both sides had the chance to win it, Volland hitting the outside of the post as he came closest to snatching the points.
However, it was the lack of a goal camera which effectively deprived Hoffenheim of victory in front of nearly 30,000 fans.