Ryan Hall scored a hat-trick of tries for the champions in the second half, but it was not enough to complete what would have been a rousing comeback.
Leeds opened the scoring through Kallum Watkins on 13 minutes but a lacklustre performance from then on saw Wakefield capitalise and take the lead with two tries in the space of four minutes.
Andy Raleigh kicked things off before Paul Sykes and then captain Danny Kirmond went over. With Sykes landing all three conversions, Wakefield took an 18-4 lead going in at half-time, although Hall gave the visitors hope after the restart.
The England winger collected two high Kevin Sinfield kicks to touch down twice in three minutes.
But Wakefield regrouped and were able to hold their nerve, Danny Washbrook and Kyle Wood scoring to open up a commanding once again.
Hall completed his hat-trick on 70 minutes but late tries from Dean Collis and Peter Fox put the result to bed.