Jakub Blaszczykowski gave the champions the lead in spectacular fashion at Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday moments before half-time but Stefan Reisinger deservedly drew the visitors level on 78 minutes.
Kevin Grosskreutz then missed a glorious chance to win it for Dortmund but, in truth, the hosts did not deserve all three points with their disjointed display.
The unavailability of Mario Goetze, who was watching on from the stands, was notable for Dortmund, who put in a largely subdued performance.
Marco Reus fashioned one of few first-half chances for the home side before Lukasz Piszczek swung in a cross for Blaszczykowski, who combined with Kevin Grosskreutz before neatly tucking home.
Robbie Kruse sprung the offside trap down the left-hand side for Dusseldorf before driving infield, but the Australian dwelled on the opportunity and saw team-mate Reisinger's tame effort blocked.
Stung into action, Grosskreutz fired just over the bar for Dortmund soon after but Kruse again found space and whipped in a delightful ball for Reisinger to head home on 78 minutes.
Juergen Klopp's men threw everything they had left at Dusseldorf during a frantic finale in which Ivan Paurevic was harshly sent off for a second yellow, but they were unable to find a way through.
Bayern can now put 11 points between the two sides ahead of Saturday's clash at the Allianz Arena with a win at Freiburg on Wednesday.
Third-placed Schalke suffered a 3-1 defeat at Hamburg that leaves them 10 points behind leaders Bayern.
Strikes from Maximilian Beister and Artoms Rudnevs in the second half put Hamburg 2-0 up.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar pegged one back for Schalke, who are into the Champions League last 16, but Milan Badelj sealed the points for Hamburg from the penalty spot in the 90th minute.
Fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt suffered another setback with a 3-1 loss at home to Mainz, their second loss in four games.
Julian Baumgartlinger was sent off for Mainz two minutes from time but the points had already been assured.
In the other clash, Hannover arrested a two-game losing streak with a 2-0 win at home to lowly Greuther Furth to stay sixth.