UCC ran in four tries, two in each half, as they brought an end to their four-match losing streak in All-Ireland League Division 1B.
Their visitors at the Mardyke, UL Bohemians, have also been struggling for form of late and it showed during a poor quality first half.
UCC took a 17-15 lead into the break and with their athletic pack continuing to make the most of possession, they battled their way to a hard-earned bonus point.
Flanker Brian O'Callaghan was rewarded for an energetic display with two tries, while his back row colleague and captain James Ryan and scrum half Brian Slater also crossed the UL whitewash.
Centre Andrew Burke produced another surefooted place-kicking performance, landing three conversions and two penalties to take his tally for the season to 49 points.
Burke kicked a penalty and added the extras to first half tries from O'Callaghan and Slater as the Cork students built a 17-0 advantage.
UL kept plugging away and opened their account with a 22nd minute penalty from out-half JJ Hanrahan.
Poor tackling and individual errors had cost Bohs up to then, but they got back in the groove courtesy of two late tries from hooker Eddie Rossiter and centre and captain Martin McPhail. Hanrahan converted McPhail's score to make it 17-15 for half-time.
Hanrahan's 50th-minute penalty moved the visitors ahead briefly, but UCC, whose lineout was excellent throughout, seized control again during the final quarter.
They grinded out two more tries to confirm a home win, with replacement Finbarr Ryan grabbing a consolation score for UL.
With Hanrahan narrowly missing the conversion, Bohs missed out on a losing bonus point but remain sixth in the table, level on 10 points with the seventh-placed UCC.