The midfielder scored the decisive goal as the Potters dominated at the Britannia Stadium, with the London side proving incapable of dealing with the Midlands side's aerial threat
Fulham struggled to cope with Stoke's aerial threat for the entire game and it was a Peter Crouch knock-down that provided decisive, as Adam converted it with ease to provide the Potters with the three points.
With Brede Hangeland suspended following his dismissal in last Sunday's defeat against Sunderland, Phillipe Senderos made a rare start at centre back, while Ashkan Dejagah, Chris Baird and Mladen Petric also came into the starting side.
Pulis had also been forced into a defensive switch as Ryan Shotton came in at left-back for the injured Andy Wilkinson; the rest of the team remaining unchanged from their 1-1 draw with West Ham last time out.
After a fairly even, albeit scrappy, opening 15 minutes, Stoke began to dominate and, predictably, it was a set-piece that led to the first chance with Huth heading just wide from an Etherington corner.
Stoke's pressure continued to tell and it was a typical Potters goal that eventually provided the breakthrough. Shotton got forward down the right and provided an excellent cross to the back-post, aimed at Peter Crouch.
Crouch got above Senderos with ease and nodded down for the lurking Adam, who duly took a touch and turned it home from six yards out to give Stoke the lead.
Fulham continued to struggle against Stoke aerially and it was from another corner that another great chance went begging for the home side, with Shawcross heading onto the underside of the bar from another excellent Etherington delivery.
Fulham failed to assert themselves on the game and that pattern looked set to continue in the second half as, just after the break, Whelan fired over from the edge of the area after Schwarzer flapped at yet another Etherington cross.
Stoke's pressure was relentless and the next chances came with 25 minutes remaining, Huth and Shawcross failing to capitalise from free headers following successive corners.
It was 73 minutes in before Asmir Begovic was finally forced into a save as Fulham pushed forward, Berbatov firing straight at the Bosnian goalkeeper following a nice move.
Fulham began to come into the game more as they pushed men forward in the latter stages, but there were few chances as they were ultimately unable to break down a typically resolute Stoke defence.
With minutes remaining, a linesman's flag was all that denied Kenwyne Jones a first Premier League goal of the season but the three points were already safe for the Potters.