Kevin Volland, the only player in the Hoffenheim squad to have found the back of the net since the turn of the year, was on target twice to earn them a much-needed win which lifts them back out of the bottom two and above Augsburg.
Max Kruse had put Freiburg in front before Volland's brace turned the game around and left them empty handed in a Baden-Wurttemberg derby.
New signing Heurelho Gomes took his place in the Hoffenheim goal following his arrival from Tottenham.
He took the place of former Germany international Tim Wiese, who has been made the scapegoat by many fans for the club's woes this season, and was under "inhumane" pressure according to the club's director of sport Andreas Muller.
One of Gomes' first tasks was to pick the ball out of the back of his net, though, as Freiburg scored their quickest goal of the season.
Not even four minutes had been played when Kruse tested Gomes, who saved his first effort but could do nothing to deny him on the follow-up.
Freiburg missed a good chance to double their lead moments later, but Jan Rosenthal failed to get to Daniel Caligiuri's low cross with the goal gaping.
Volland pounced to bring the home team level in the 10th minute after Roberto Firmino's shot bounced back off the post, and Hoffenheim garnered belief after getting back on terms so quickly.
Volland was their only goalscorer in 2013 coming into the game, and he took matters into his own hands to put Hoffenheim in front in the 27th minute.
Tobias Weis was the provider after more good work from Firmino and Volland did the rest, powering the ball in from close range.
The goal did not give Hoffenheim much confidence, however, as they instead struggled to cope in what was unfamiliar territory for them this season, leading going into the second half of a game.
Rather than searching to finish off their guests, they chose to shut up shop and hope the one-goal lead would be enough.
It proved to be just that as Freiburg failed to muster a response in a second half bereft of chances.
The biggest arrived in the 89th minute but Patrick Ochs failed to add a third for Hoffenheim with only Oliver Baumann to beat.
However, another goal was not necessary for the home team to win their first game of the year.