Kyle Lafferty struck on his debut to give Hearts a winning Betfred Cup start in Elgin.
The Northern Ireland international headed home the only goal on the hour mark to break the resistance of Jim Weir's battling League Two side.
Ian Cathro handed a first start to Christophe Berra following his return to Hearts from Ipswich while Manchester City loan defender Ashley Smith-Brown and both Michael Smith and Kyle Lafferty also took their bow in front of a 550-strong travelling support.
Berra almost made a dream return with a third-minute header from Don Cowie's free-kick, but Marc Waters saved well and the Hearts defender was penalised for a foul.
Jamie Walker had the ball in the net for Hearts on 15 minutes following a mix-up between Waters and defender Darryl McHardy in trying to deal with a high ball through the middle, however an offside flag cut short the midfielder's celebrations.
Smith-Brown's first game for the Edinburgh side was to be a short-lived one as he picked up a knock midway through the first half and was replaced by Polish arrival Rafal Grzalek.
Lafferty had a shooting chance on the half hour but his effort screwed embarrassingly sideways and fell kindly for Isma Goncalves, who curled wide from 15 yards.
Elgin, who crashed to a 6-0 defeat at Dunfermline in their opening game in Group B, enjoyed a brief spell of pressure during which new striker Jordan Allan shot tamely at Jack Hamilton.
Three minutes before the break Lafferty rose to meet a Berra ball from deep and head it into the path of Cowie, who blazed his volley over the target.
But the former Rangers striker was not to be denied and he headed home Grzelak's cross after a quickly-taken free-kick.
Elgin had their moments as they pushed for an equaliser while Walker and Lafferty again came close at the other end.