Preheat oven to 350°F. degrees. Line two 12-cup standard size cupcake-muffin pans with paper liners or spray with cooking spray.
In a medium sized bowl, use a whisk to sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream butter on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla. Cream together on medium speed for around 2 minutes to combine.
Lower the speed of the mixer and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk beginning and ending with flour. Mix just until fully combined, stopping to scrape the bowl periodically.
Divide the batter evenly between cups filling about ½-2/3 full. Bake 16-17 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
While cupcakes cool toast the coconut: Spread coconut on a baking sheet. Place into the 350°F oven and toast for 8-10 minutes. Watch closely as coconut browns quickly. Set aside to cool. (Keep an eye on it and stir as needed for even browning.)
To make Buttercream Icing: Using an electric mixer, beat butter until fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time mixing on medium speed. Add vanilla and milk one tablespoon at a time continuing to mix until smooth. (3-5 minutes). Frosting should be light and fluffy.
To assemble Samoa Cupcakes: After cupcakes have cooled completely, frost as desired and drizzle with caramel sauce. Top with a sprinkle of toasted coconut.
Serve immediately or store chilled for up to 3 days.
Please note: Depending on how you divide the batter, the yield could vary.