The former Test allrounder piled on 152 before the Blues collapsed to be all out for 279 on day one at Manuka Oval.
The Bulls were 1-23 at stumps after Joe Burns (6) failed to make the most of his chance to impress the Australian selectors.
However, his dismissal was dubious after he was caught behind off a Josh Hazlewood ball that seemed to miss his bat and brush his chest.
The game was billed as a Test audition for the likes of Matt Renshaw and Burns but it was Henriques who put his name up in lights with a classy century.
Henriques on Thursday detailed his battle with depression and anxiety in an ABC interview and he seemed at ease as he brought up the eighth ton of his first-class career.
The 31-year-old has made four Test appearances for Australia, all of which have come on the subcontinent - the last coming against Sri Lanka in 2016.
While he isn't considered to be in the frame for a Test recall, he did his future hopes no harm after coming to the rescue for the Blues.
He arrived at the crease with his side in trouble at 2-43 on a batting-friendly deck.
He smashed 20 fours and one maximum in his 178-ball innings but the Blues were ultimately bowled out for what appeared to be a below-par score.
He and young gun Jason Sangha (27) put on 88 for the fourth wicket while Peter Nevill contributed a valuable 29.
However, the Blues fell in a heap in the final session, losing their final five wickets for just 16.
Henriques was caught and bowled by Mark Steketee, who was the Bulls' best, taking 4-38.
After a day in which momentum swung like a pendulum, Renshaw (8) and Marnus Labuschagne (9) were not out at the end of play.
Renshaw was lucky to survive after being dropped by Daniel Hughes at third slip for just four.