Frank Lampard enhanced his hopes of earning a new Chelsea contract with a timely double to end Everton's unbeaten home record at Goodison Park.
Steven Pienaar put the hosts ahead after 63 seconds, driving home after Victor Anichebe's header struck the post.
Nikica Jelavic then hit the post from a free-kick, before Lampard headed the European Champions level three minutes before the break.
The England international was also first to react 18 minutes from time, completing his brace after Tim Howard saved from Juan Mata. The victory thrusts Chelsea into the periphery of the Premier League title race and ends Everton's impressive 2012 on a sour note.
Out of contract at the end of the season, Lampard is likely to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer, with the club unwilling to offer a two-year extension to the 34-year-old, whose goals at Everton moved him to within nine goals of the club's record goalscorer, Bobby Tambling.
Chelsea were unbeaten in their last eight matches against Everton in the Premier League, and Rafa Benitez took his rejuvenated side to Merseyside hoping to return to the Premier League's top three.
But The Toffees, who had lost just once in their last 16 league games and welcomed Steven Naismith back into the team, started like a house on fire and opened the scoring inside 63 seconds, when Victor Anichebe's header rebounded off the post and fell to Pienaar, who made no mistake.
Jelavic almost doubled the advantage but struck the base of the post from his free kick as Chelsea struggled to get a foothold in a first half that was threatening to pass them by.
Leon Osman forced Petr Cech, on his 400th appearance for the club, into a sprawling save mid-way through the half, an effort that sparked the visitors into life, with Howard having to be alive to deny Juan Mata from close range following Ramires' spirited run.
Ashley Cole then somehow failed to level after Cesar Azpilicueta's driven cross evaded the England left-back, but as Chelsea began to enjoy sustained periods of possession they left themselves open to the counter attack; with Cech tipping Jelavic's effort wide after a sweeping Everton move.
Attempting to hold out until the interval, Everton were prepared to sit deep and soak up the pressure, but they succumbed three minutes before the break as Ramires' cross found the unmarked Lampard, who nodded past a helpless Howard.
Ross Turnbull replaced Cech at half time with the Czech stopper suffering from an ankle problem, and the 27-year-old was peppered early on as a host of flighted balls were played in towards Jelavic and Anichebe.
The aerial route chosen by Everton in the early stages of the second half said much about the problems they encountered attempting to play through Chelsea like they had in the opening 45 minutes.
Howard thwarted Torres and Turnbull dived down low to stop Osman's drive, but it was Lampard who showed the killer instinct required on 72 minutes, bundling home after Mata's half volley was blocked.
Jelavic's header thumped against the bar from Baines's cross as the pressure swelled on the Chelsea goal, but despite the introduction of Ross Barkley, Bryan Oviedo and Apostolos Vellios, the home side couldn't force their way through as Chelsea moved within 11 points of leaders Manchester United.