Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine arrowroot starch and cold water. Stir to combine and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine applesauce, almond butter, and maple syrup. Whisk to combine. Add the arrowroot slurry and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the organic cane sugar, almond flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.
Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently fold them in until evenly combined.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer with a spatula.
In a small bowl, stir together cream cheese swirl ingredients. Drop tablespoons of cream cheese mixture on top of brownie batter. Using a skewer, chopstick, or knife, draw it through the batter in straight horizontal lines followed by vertical lines.
Bake for 38-42 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Loosely tent with foil at the 25 minute mark to avoid browning the cream cheese swirls.
Allow brownies to cool in pan completely on wire rack before removing from pan and slicing into squares.
Store cream cheese brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.