We demonstrate a simple and versatile way to achieve high yield synthesis of shape- and size-controlled multi-branched gold nanoparticles (MBNPs). Control over the shape of the MBNPs was achieved by varying the ratio of gold to the mild reducing agent ascorbic acid, using a seed-mediated growth approach. Higher ascorbate concentrations resulted in the smoothing of branches, leading to the yield of relatively more isotropic particles. Furthermore, we found that using much higher silver concentrations in the growth solution resulted in the formation of rod-shaped micro-features together with MBNPs; we postulate them to be cetyltrimethyl ammonium silver bromide crystals. The as-prepared MBNPs show interesting tunable optical properties that are strongly influenced by the particle shape. The results are discussed in terms of plasmon coupling between the core and branches of the MBNPs.