Los Blancos entered the match looking to build on their impressive victory at Valencia last weekend, but veteran Italian forward Giampaolo Pazzini came off the bench to net a late equaliser on his Levante debut.
Marcelo had the away side's first half-chance of the match in the sixth minute, but the left-back missed the target from a narrow angle.
Marcelo had another super chance in the 11th minute, only to have his close-range effort deflected wide. Madrid took the lead from the resulting corner, however, as Ramos's header somehow squeezed past Levante goalkeeper Oier.
Ronaldo fired over the crossbar from inside the Levante box as the visitors chased a second goal, and Oier then had to be alert to keep out a Benzema effort in the 30th minute.
Poor handling from Levante's goalkeeper almost saw Los Blancos double their lead in the 32nd minute, but Ronaldo could not convert from close range as the home side survived another dangerous moment.
Levante were level in the 42nd minute, however, when Emmanuel Boateng stroked the ball into the bottom corner of the net after Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas had been forced to come out of his goal to save from Jose Morales.
Zidane's side had more than 70% of the ball in the opening 45 minutes, but they entered the half-time break on terms courtesy of Boateng's first ever La Liga goal.
It was Levante that had the first clear chance of the second period just before the hour, but Jefferson Lerma was thwarted by Navas following another fast counter-attack from the home side.
Isco replaced Bale in the 66th minute as Zidane looked for more creativity in the final third of the field, and the Spaniard tested Oier with a powerful effort 20 minutes from time.
Benzema was next to come close for the visitors, but the Frenchman saw his low effort deflected just wide before Oier denied Ramos from the resulting corner.
Levante were incredibly dangerous on the counter-attack, although too often the final pass went astray.
Real Madrid were the team creating the better chances, and eventually they regained the lead in the 81st minute when Isco smashed home from inside the box following smart work from Benzema.
Levante had a golden chance to level the scores in the 86th minute when Roger found himself unmarked at the far post, but the substitute somehow headed wide of the post from close range.
The home side refused to be beaten though, and they scored a second goal in the 89th minute when on-loan forward Pazzini found a route under the advancing Navas to send the home supporters into ecstasy.
LEVANTE (4-5-1): Oier; Coke, Rober, Postigo, Luna; Lerma (Roger 69'), Doukoure, Morales, Lukic, Ivi (Pazzini 77'); Boateng (Jason 60')
REAL MADRID (4-3-3): Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric (Lucas 90'); Ronaldo (Asensio 82'), Benzema, Bale (Isco 66')